Frisco, Breckenridge take stand on ‘puppy mills’

FRISCO — Towns in Summit County are beginning to push forward with an effort to try to combat unethical pet breeding in the state.

The Frisco Town Council passed a new ordinance at its regular meeting last week prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats produced in inhumane breeding facilities, otherwise known as “puppy mills.”

“I’m really proud to live in a state where people value the humane treatment of animals,” said Joyce Cohen, a Breckenridge resident leading the charge to outlaw puppy mill sales in the area. “The conditions in these facilities is horrifying, and the puppies they produce are often not well and sold to unsuspecting people.”

Cohen just recently began her efforts, following a similar push by her brother who’s helped to get more than 50 towns in New Jersey to outlaw pet sales from inhumane breeding facilities. With Frisco passing its new ordinance on first reading, the town is joining Berthoud and Breckenridge as areas that have banned the practice.

According to the Humane Society, there are 2 million dogs sold each year from about 10,000 active puppy mills in the United States. The organization notes that some dogs spend their entire lives in cramped cages without exercise or proper veterinary care. Dogs bred in puppy mills are also often sold sick and not socialized.

While the issue isn’t really a problem in Summit County, Cohen said she’s hoping to bring governments around the state into the cause, noting ongoing efforts in Dillon, Silverthorne and Eagle County.

“I would encourage others to get involved, too,” Cohen said. “There’s so many good resources out there with the Humane Society and Harley’s Dream to help people get educated about this issue. It’s nice to be able to help the animals that can’t help themselves.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.