Puppies visit City Hall for puppy mill debate

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Animal lovers came to Atlanta City Hall and they brought four-legged lobbyists along.

That description could fit four healthy puppies shown to council members to dramatize pending legislation on over breeding by so-called puppy mills.

The dogs, retrievers, made the local lawmakers melt as they jockeyed to hold one of them in the public safety panel meeting room.

Organizations like the Atlanta Humane Society as well as veterinarians described the unhealthy impact they see from over breeding. They say the practice will only be encouraged when those puppies are sold -- sometimes for thousands of dollars.

At the same time, representatives and some employees of major pet stores asked the council not to throw out the good with the bad.

They described how the animals they handle come from reputable breeders.

The authors of the bill acknowledged there are no shops currently in Atlanta that would be in violation of what they proposed. That is because the few pet stores that operate inside the city limits already partner with the humane society and other groups to ensure puppies are placed.

The prohibition against any such mills attempting to set up shop in Atlanta went through with a unanimous vote. After the decision, members took time to cuddle the lobbyists -- pups.

The measure will now go to the full council for passage.