Culver Signs Puppy Mill Law

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver delivers his annual condition of the state address before a joint session of the Iowa legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES (AP) - Gov. Chet Culver has signed into law new regulations on pet breeders designed to stamp out puppy mills.

Culver signed the law Tuesday during a ceremony in which he brought along the family dog.

Culver says the vast majority of breeders follow laws and raise pets humanely, but that breeders and puppy mills that abuse animals better change their ways.

The governor traveled to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa on Des Moines' north side to sign the measure, which increases license fees for pet breeders on a sliding scale from $20 to $175 charged for big commercial breeding operations.

That would generate about $335,000 a year, which would help fund up to five inspectors to respond to complaints about kennel conditions.

Violators could be fined up to $1,500.

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