Both chambers passed SB 744 by large margins without the puppy mill language. The Senate passed it 33-10 while the House passed it 66-44.
A bid to ratchet up kennel regulations on so called “puppy mills” in North Carolina died as legislators approved and the governor signed SB 744, the state budget bill on August 7, 2014.
However, sportsmen and hobby breeders were left scrambling when the North Carolina House of Representatives added stringent, overly-burdensome and unnecessary new kennel regulations to the bill that the Senate passed. The provisions, being advocated for by the governor, would have subjected hobby dog breeders to the same regulations, inspections, and treatment as abusive, large-scale dog breeding operations.
While proponents claimed the new rules would crack down on high volume commercial kennels, the language of the provision would have applied additional and unnecessary standards on any kennel harboring 10 or more intact female dogs. In addition, the enforcement authority for dog laws would have been transferred from the state Department of Agriculture to the state’s law enforcement agency, the Department of Public Safety. This would have set the stage for police officers to conduct kennel inspections on private property without the expertise of specialized animal care inspectors currently housed in the Department of Agriculture.