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You may have heard that Carbon County law enforcement has concluded a case involving 57 dogs seized from an overcrowded breeding facility.

Over two months, 175 volunteers organized by the Beartooth Humane Alliance provided more than 2,500 hours of loving care to the dogs, whose number rose to 82 with the birth of litters. Of these, 28 dogs have been adopted to local volunteers, and arrangements for the rest were determined by the county attorney.

The dog rescue was costly and stressful, and by no means the first in Montana. Asking why state and local laws on dog breeding can’t be “beefed up,” I was told the answer is beef. That is, livestock producers resist such regulation because it could open the door to scrutiny of their operations. I’m no ag expert, but I know the difference between a dog and a cow, and it seems to me that regulations could be crafted specifically to protect dogs from filthy, overcrowded kennels. If you agree, please let your lawmakers know that.

And if you want to buy a dog from a breeder — or turn your purebred dog over to an agent to be bred and the puppies sold — don’t rely on advertisements, websites, or hearsay. Go to the kennel yourself and look carefully at conditions and care.

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Carbon County stepped up, but let’s try to keep this from happening again.

Sue Bury

Red Lodge

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