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New bill looks to put an end to puppy mills

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Yankee may look like your typical dog, but when he was rescued from a Lancaster County puppy mill in 2014, he was living a much different life as a breeding dog.

"He had a number of issues including ear infections, he had paw infections from living on a wire floor hutch, he had severe dental disease, so he only had 12 teeth when we got him," his owner Kate DePasquale said.

Yankee is now the face of potential legislation, that Representative Jason Ortitay and Senator Guy Reschenthaler are hoping to introduce very soon.

It would ban the sale of puppies from puppy mills at pet stores and require them to only source from shelters.

“I think that the public is being misled. I think they go to pet stores and they think they’re going to buy a healthy puppy, they think they’re getting this from a reputable breeder and the truth is pet store puppies are puppy mill puppies,” DePasquale said.

This proposed legislation will not only stop the sale of puppies from puppy mills but also cats and rabbits as well.

“Those bunnies will often get bigger and once they get to that size can often be unmanageable or if they’re not socialize they can become slightly aggressive," Kristen Tullo with the Humane Society of the United States said.

Tullo says by stopping the demand for puppies at pet stores, it will cut down on the amount of breeding at puppy mills and give animals like Yankee a forever home.

“When you look into the eyes of an animal that you have brought home from a shelter or rescue, their is loyalty and a connection that is just unexplainable," Tullo said.

The legislation would also ban the sale of animals at outdoor flea markets and require breeders to put their license numbers on all advertisements.

Representative Jason Ortitay and Senator Guy Reschenthaler are hoping to find more co-sponsors before introducing the bill.

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