The Animal Legal Defense Fund is the premiere legal organization for animals and has released its annual report ranking the animal protection laws for all 50 states. Iowa ranked 49. No surprise there. Iowa has been rated near the bottom since the ALDF started reporting these statistics.
In addition to having so few laws with any teeth to them, even the laws in place do nothing to protect the more than 15,000 dogs in the 260 “puppy mills” in Iowa. These breeding factory operators have only the USDA inspectors to answer to. What Iowa needs is state oversight. Without it, we are unable to ensure that state animal cruelty statutes are being enforced in these facilities. Of the top four dog-producing states, Iowa is the only one without state level oversight.
USDA inspectors are not obligated to report neglect and abuse to local authorities and they don’t. Many of the violations to the Animal Welfare Act they discover would result in charges being filed under Iowa Code Chapter 717B anywhere other than at a puppy mill.
What can you do to promote change? Contact your local state legislators and let them know that animal welfare legislation and puppy mills are important to you and tell them why.
Stop buying puppies from pet stores. Responsible breeders will not sell to them nor will they sell their puppies online.