Attorney General Corbett holds up dog law regs

Main Line Animal Rescue's PA Turnpike billboard protests dog law regs

A bump in the road for Pennsylvania's dog law regs?

Attorney General Tom Corbett apparently has questions for the Rendell administration about the state's new dog law regulations. The controversial regulations - which govern conditions in commercial kennels including temperature, ventilation and flooring - were headed for final approval last month after winning support of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

But the 30-day review period with the Attorney General came and went yesterday without the seal of approval from Corbett. Spokesman Nils Frederiksen would not confirm Corbett had issues with the regulations, saying only the Attorney General has 30 days to review the regulations "unless there are additional questions for the referring agency."

Administration officials made a controversial policy change last month that will allow breeders to keep nursing mothers on wire flooring for months at a time. Animal welfare advocates contend this is a direct conflict with the law which bans wire flooring for all adult dogs. Rendell officials blame a loophole in the law that they say must be fixed by legislation (state Rep. Bryan Lentz, a Democrat of Delaware County, says he is drafting a bill to do just that). But some animal advocates say the law is clear and are threatening to sue the state for non-enforcement.

The Rendell administration also removed the unfettered access to exercise provision for nursing mothers, arguing that puppies could get trapped outside threatening their health. Advocates say that issue could have been addressed with a small barrier that would let an adult dog out and keep puppies in. Animal behavior experts also counter that nursing mothers would never leave healthy puppies outside.

Regulations are deemed approved after they clear review from the attorney general and are published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.