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Puppy Mill Law Set to Expire--Mikayla Lewis

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A law that was passed in 2010 created a state regulatory agency that local law enforcement agencies could call for expertise when inspecting commercial kennels, with the aim of putting an end to puppy mills. The law is set to expire and supporters say its because its too costly to enforce. 

Michelle McGuire and her boyfriend rescued their dog, Brutus during the May 2010 flood. A year prior, the couple adopted Bella, a chihuahua from a Davidson County puppy mill.

Michelle McGuire said the conditions were ," Horrible conditions, feces everywhere, there were so many dogs in the room."

Despite the bad conditions and lack of regulations, the couple decided to still take Bella home.

McGuire explained, " It feels so good. Makes me happy when I see her happy . I just think back like what if she was still there, you know she probably wouldn't have made it."

Bella's living arrangements drastically improved, and so did the law right after her adoption. The Commercial Breeder Act was passed in 2009 and required an annual inspection and licensing of puppy mill.s

Leighann Lassiter, U.S. Humane Society's Tennessee State director said, " It created a state regulatory agency that local law enforcement agencies could call on to use their expertise and all of their knowledge in inspecting these commercial kennels."

Lassiter helped create the law, which went into effect in 2010. Now the act is ending on June 30th, 2014. Supporters say funding is the main reason it the renewal died in the Senate.

Rep. Susan Lynn said, "We need to come back next year and restructure the program, so the numbers will work."

State lawmaker Lynn and Lassiter are concerned the puppy mill raids will now fall on local law enforcement and six people are losing their jobs in the Office of Animal Welfare.

Another concern Lassiter says is after five years of cutting down bad breeders, "all of those bad breeders are going to bubble right back up to the surface and we're going to be right where we started five years ago."

Rep. Lynn and Lassiter are working to bring the law back next year for approval. In the meantime, if you are looking to adopt a do visiting a certified shelter like the Nashville Humane Association is your safest option.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17.

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