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Oklahoma praised for animal treatment progress

Oklahoma falls in the middle of the pack in a national ranking of states' animal rights laws. The Humane Society of the United States applauded Oklahoma for the state's recent improvements to puppy mill laws.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: December 29, 2010

Oklahoma has become a more humane state for animals in the past year, but still has plenty of room for progress, according to a report released Tuesday by the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society released its second annual Humane State Ranking, which evaluates states' animal protection laws. Oklahoma tied with Georgia for the No. 27 spot. California is ranked No. 1, while South Dakota finished at the bottom of the list.

Oklahoma scored well in animal fighting laws, but lags behind when it comes to exotic pets, trapping and animal testing, according to the report.

The state was cited in the report for dramatic improvement in the puppy mill category. The Commercial Pet Breeders Act that passed this year requires puppy breeding operations to be licensed, inspected and provide humane care.

“That is a huge step forward for Oklahoma,” said Cynthia Armstrong, state director for the Humane Society.

The Board of Commercial Pet Breeders is finalizing the details of the new regulations, Armstrong said.

Oklahoma is second only to Missouri in puppy production, Armstrong said. The Humane Society receives complaints about dogs bred in Oklahoma from buyers across the country, she said. Most complaints are that the dogs became sick or died.

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