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Saine honored for fight against puppy mills

 

Contributed State Representative Jason Saine (above) received a Humane State Legislator award on Saturday at the Governor’s mansion in Raleigh for his effort to combat puppy mills in North Carolina.

ELIZABETH HEFFNER

Staff Writer

 

A group of special canine guests visited Governor Pat McCrory’s Executive Mansion this weekend. Governor and First Lady McCrory hosted a Dog Adoption and Humane Awards event at the Executive Mansion Saturday. The Governor told the Associated Press that as many as 30 shelter dogs were expected to look for new owners this weekend. Participating shelters included Charlotte, Guilford and Pender County shelters.

The dog adoption day was designed to urge the Senate to move forward with House Bill 930 next year, a bill that would set minimum care standards for large commercial dog breeding operations. State Representative Jason Saine serves as the primary sponsor behind the bill.

“I was on my iPad reading news from around the state [last summer] when I read about a large puppy mill bust in Brunswick County,” Saine said. “After reading that story and then seeing video from the bust, I tweeted on Twitter my genuine disgust and that I wished something could be done about it. I was unaware when I sent out my tweet about past attempts to pass legislation that had never even made it out of the House or Senate in North Carolina and other proposals that had been very controversial.”

From there, Saine worked with the First Lady along with Representatives Rayne Brown, Nathan Ramsey, Chuck McGrady, Pat McElraft and Pricey Harrison on writing the legislation.

“We wanted to make sure the legislation would not infringe on the rights of hunters, sportsmen, hobby breeders and other legitimate dog lovers,” Saine said.

While the measure did pass in the House, it has not yet been heard in the Senate. The General Assembly reconvenes in May. According to the Associated Press, the House bill, which applies to operations with 10 or more female dogs, sets specific standards to ensure that dogs have daily exercise, fresh food and water, shelter and veterinary care.

“While we have come very far, we still must get the Senate to act when we come back into session in May,” Saine said.

Saine and Representative Brown were honored Saturday with the Humane State Legislator award due to their work with this bill.

“For something that was supposed to be so controversial, it ended up being a consensus bill,” Saine said. “A lot of that is due to the work that my cosponsors and I put forth to include so many organizations that initially had concerns, including agriculture interests. We honored what we had pledged to do, which was to put forth a very narrowly focused piece of legislation to address a major problem in our state.”

 

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