Pennsylvania's independently elected fiscal watchdog says the state is doing a poor job enforcing an anti-puppy mill law designed to protect buyers and ensure breeders maintain humane practices.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in an audit released this week that lax leadership and ineffective program administration have plagued the Dog Law Enforcement Office.
Former Governor Ed Rendell signed the law in 2008 amid what critics described as inhumane puppy mills. The new rules pertain mostly to commercial kennels that provide dogs to dealers or pet shops, or that traffic in at least 60 dogs per year, in an effort to shed Pennsylvania's reputation as the puppy-mill capital of the East Coast.
But DePasquale said sales were not properly tracked from 2010 to 2012 to determine which kennels should be licensed as commercial ones. And guidelines were not promptly written for dog wardens until October 2012, and the office's money was spent on other, unrelated Department of Agriculture employees, he said.
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