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      Bill could put new rules in place for dog breeders

      Lawmakers are taking a close look at a bill that would require large-scale dog breeders to register with the state and follow the same standards of care already in place for pet stores and animal shelters.

      Senate Bill 560 is up for vote in the Agriculture Committee Thursday.

      The bill would require large-scale dog breeders to register with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The legislation defines "large-scale commercial dog breeders" as a facility where more than fifteen female intact dogs over the age of 4 months are kept for the purpose of breeding.

      The Michigan Humane Society believes the passage of the bill would be a step forward in protecting animals kept for breeding, as well as their puppies. The organization also believes the bill would discourage large-scale breeders in other states from relocating to Michigan, which some may believe has more lax laws.

      The bill also clarifies stray animal holding periods for animal shelters.

      Currently, there is no legally mandated stray-hold period for cats, though the general practice is to hold them four days. This bill would require stray cats without identification to be held for two days. The Michigan Humane Society believes the shorter holding period for cats will result in many more feline lives being saved in Michigan by reducing the outbreak of infectious disease which is a huge problem with cats in shelters nationwide.

      SB 560 clarifies animal shelters observe a four day holding period for a dog that does not have current, traceable evidence of ownership.

      If SB 560 passes the Senate Committee, it will then move to the full Senate for a vote.