n a legislative session when an alarming number of hare-brained measures are being introduced like clockwork, a move to curtail puppy mills offers at least a smidgen of redemption.

Oklahoma is the nation’s second-largest exporter of puppies, and many of those who do the exporting are less-than-savory characters. That’s long been the case, but this marks the Legislature’s first attempt to regulate breeders.

The bill’s author, Rep. Lee Denney of Cushing, also happens to be a veterinarian. He has seen first-hand the problems that plague animals produced by these mills. Often the new pet is sick and weak from day one and dies within a few days, after its broken-hearted family has spent hundreds of dollars trying to save it. And genetic flaws among these animals run rampant. At best, many of them are simply abandoned, which adds to the widespread dumping problem the state also suffers.

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