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First lady watches passage of ‘puppy mill’ bill

RALEIGH First lady Ann McCrory claimed her first legislative victory Thursday, watching the N.C. House pass a “puppy mill” bill she lobbied for.

But McCrory continued to keep the low profile she’s maintained over four months. After the vote, she walked past a scrum of reporters and cameras outside the House gallery and into a waiting elevator without comment.

The wife of Gov. Pat McCrory sat in the gallery during debate over the bill to establish standards for large animal breeding facilities. The bill defines those as any that keep 10 or more dogs of breeding age.

McCrory, who owns a Labrador retriever named “Moe,” wrote members of a House committee that passed a bill Wednesday.

“Passing legislation to establish basic standards of care for large commercial breeding facilities is a very important issue to me and to people across our state,” Ann McCrory wrote. “These policies increase our quality of life in North Carolina and ensure better care for dogs across our state.”

The bill was watered down in a House Judiciary committee. It would exempt kennels that provide boarding or training, even if only a single dog is boarded. The bill also does not apply to those who breed show dogs, hunting dogs, sporting dogs or field dogs.

The bill generated lengthy debate. Critics called it ambiguous and unnecessary, but it passed 100-15.

It now goes to the Senate.

Morrill: 704-358-5059
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