Indiana Puppy Mill Bill Passes

Indiana puppy mill dogs

But it is a far different bill than as originally introduced 

Update April 7: H.B. 1468, the Indiana regulations for commercial dog breeders has now passed both the House and Senate.   

The bill is far different than as originally introduced. The original bill is summarized below.

There are no limits on the numbers of dogs a commercial breeder can sell each year or keep for breeding. The law would not apply to commercial breeders with fewer than 20 female dogs used for breeding.

Commercial dog brokers are not subject to regulation unless they are USDA licensed and sell at least 500 dogs per year.  

Those breeders and brokers subject to the new law must register every year and pay a fee. They are subject to inspection. The state Board of Health will be responsible for registration, inspections and enforcing standards breeders and brokers are required to meet. These standards are basically those contained in the Animal Welfare Act for USDA licensed dealers.

A commercial dog breeder would be prohibited from housing a dog in a cage containing a wire floor unless there is some way the dog can be off the wire floor.  A cage must be "large enough to allow for reasonable movement by the dog". Breeders must "provide every dog with a reasonable opportunity for exercise at least one (1) time per day."

Breeders must provide a consumer with a copy of a dog’s vaccination, medication, and treatment records at the time a consumer purchases, exchanges, or adopts the dog. They must keep records for each dog for 5 years.

The Board would have the right to enforce these provisions including through obtaining injunctive relief and imposing civil penalties. The problem is the Board can only enforce this law if there are sufficient funds in an account set up to collect fees and fines. 

It would be a misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally fail to register or  make material misstatements on an application.

This law prohibits local governments from passing ordinances with more stringent requirements. It is not clear if this means zoning permits cannot require tougher requirements.

Not at all the bill first introduced.  

Original report: Indiana’s puppy mill bill, H.B. 1468, introduced by Rep. Linda Lawson, has passed the Committee on Courts and Criminal Code by a vote of 11-1.

The bill would place registration requirements and restrictions on "commercial dog breeders" which refers to a anyone who maintains adult female dogs that produce 10 or more litters in a year.  

Commercial breeders would be required to register every 4 years and keep records. An electronic registry of commercial breeders would be maintained by the state. 

There would be limits on breeding under this bill. Commercial breeders (1)  maintain at any one location no more than 30 dogs more than 1 year of age that have not been spayed/neutered, (2) must obtain an annual certificate from a veterinarian stating the dog is in "suitable health for breeding", (3) breed dogs only if they are between 18 months and 8 years of age, and (4) allow female dogs to produce only 1 litter each year.

The bill has some standards of care. Commercial breeders must:

  • (1) Provide sufficient food and water at intervals appropriate for the dogs
  • (2) Maintain sanitary conditions
  • (3) Take steps to control disease, infestation and obnoxious odors
  • (4) Provide and maintain sufficient natural or artificial light and also protect each dog from excessive or stressful illumination
  • (5) Provide shelter to protect dogs from temperatures below 65 degrees F and above 78 degrees F
  • (6) Provide sufficient ventilation to minimize drafts, moisture condensation, and odors and provide for the health and comfort of the dog
  • (7) Ensure that each dog that is at least 12 weeks of age has unfettered access from the primary enclosure to an exercise area every day for at least 1 hour; the exercise area must be twice the size of the primary enclosure and kept clean, free of infestation and in good repair and made of solid and maintainable materials
  • (8) Keep a nursing female dog and the dog’s puppies in a run separate from other adult dogs 
  • (9) Implant a microchip in every dog on the premises and all of the puppies that are sold, and ensure that the microchips are registered
  • (10) Refrain from hiring a staff member who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony for animal cruelty
  • (11) Provide an enclosure that "is suited for the breed of the dog", clean, dry, constructed to prevent injury or escape with walls and floors of nonabsorbent, nonporous materials though wire flooring would not be allowed. There is a formula for determining the size of the enclosure which for one dog is basically twice the space required for USDA licensed dog dealers.       

labradoodleThe bill also contains consumer protection provisions. Commercial breeders must display their registration to the public and also this sign:  "THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE ON ALL OF OUR DOGS AND PUPPIES: THE ANIMAL’S DATE OF BIRTH; CITY/TOWN AND STATE OF BIRTH; THE DATE (insert name of the commercial dog breeder) RECEIVED THE ANIMAL; THE ANIMAL’S COMPLETE VACCINATION, DEWORMING, MEDICATION, AND TREATMENT RECORDS; AND THE ANIMAL’S 15 DAY WARRANTY".

Under the bill a commercial dog breeder "may not display, offer for sale, sell, or exchange a dog with obvious signs of infection, disease, or illness." For diseased dogs or those found to be suffering from a congenital condition, the bill would require commercial breeders to provide a full refund or a replacement dog, if the purchaser prefers, and pay veterinarian bills up to the purchase price of the dog.

Purchasers would be required to obtain within 15 days of the purchase a veterinarian’s certificate attesting the dog is suffering from a disease or within 1 year for a congenital condition.

Commercial breeders must provide consumers with notice of this warranty along with the dog’s vaccination and other medical records.

Pet dealers would be required to maintain records about the dogs and cats sold including information about the breeder and any broker and veterinary records. Law enforcement would have access to these records. Prospective purchasers would be entitled to see veterinary records.


Find Indiana state House Members here.   Here is an email list of House members. Call or write Indiana representatives and urge them to vote YES on H.B. 1468 and help stop Indiana puppy mills.  

If you live in Indiana, find your legislators here and call or write and urge them to vote yes on H.B. 1468. Help stop puppy mills in Indiana. 

7 thoughts on “Indiana Puppy Mill Bill Passes”

  1. If anyone in Indiana is willing to take action to support this bill in way of silent gathering at the state house in Indianapolis the day the bill is to be signed or mail letters, or sign petitions, please contact me at

  2. It is a shame they took the teeth out of this bill. We recently bought back one of our dogs from a puppy mill in Seymour, IN. We got her back but she was half the weight she should have been, was de-barked, and they’d bred her in her first heat. It took two lawyers to force the buy-back and the Humane Society could do nothing for us, even though there had been previous complaints about the woman.

    Under this new version, as long as the breeder has fewer than 20 breeding females, they can continue mistreating animals. What constitutes breeding females? Unspayed? Or will authorities just take the breeder’s word that it isn’t breeding and is used only for the show ring? Insane!

  3. I think it is wrong to microchip animals. It is up to the buyer. Microchips are known to cause cancer.
    now is it against the law to own an animal not chipped?

  4. Well, with whom is the microchip registered with, and who actually owns the dog if each puppy is given it’s little mark of the beast? with the ridiculously high prices I have seen posted for some dogs, I think it should be up to the owners discretion how they choose to ID their dogs. Whose dog is it? the breeders own it for perpetuity? the registry owns the dog? Was this lobbying on the behalf of the people who make microchips? Google microchip and cancer (I did after reading previous post) and don’t read the official chip makers pages, read some of the scientific data on microchips causing cancer that eventually spreads through out mice, dogs bodies. I am anti-puppy mill, have to agree that this bill does not go far enough on limiting number of litters per year (I personally think that a breeder should have a waiting list) but if this is the sort of thing that is going on with dog breeding (I have been researching for a future pup), I will forgo the research and look for “Freedom” dogs.
    This is no different than chipping children.

  5. The problem with microchips the host needs to be paid every yr. i tattoo my dogs it’s visable and no need to try 3 different scanners yo locate a chip

  6. This is not the case; cancer rates are not increased with microchips. Microchips are a responsible way to verify the pets have been traced. Microchips are transferable to new owners. This would mean that records would need to be kept in detail. These commercial breeders are not keeping the records. It is more verifiable and legible than tatoos.

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