03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Colorado Dog Breeder Task Force Aims To Crack Down On Puppy Mills Without Enacting New Laws

Animal Rights advocates are looking for ways to regulate puppy mills in Colorado without seeking new laws.

KDVR reports that a task force is meeting today to discuss regulations for dog breeders even though Colorado lawmakers rejected a bill this spring that would have done the same thing.

Kate Anderson, administrator of the state's Pet Animal Care Facilities Program, says the meeting Wednesday is looking at how to regulate issues like cage sizes without seeking new laws. She says the state can use its rule-making authority instead.

The bill proposed limiting the size of dog breeding facilities, but was killed by the House Agriculture Committee because opponents said it would have been difficult to enforce and would have hurt legitimate breeding facilities.

The sponsor of the bill State Rep. Beth McCann-D Denver, will not introduce it again next year because she believes it would not pass.

The Vail Daily reported earlier this year:

One Colorado dog breeder was ordered out of business last year after state inspectors found 40 animals had starved to death on the property and six others were in critical condition.

A Colorado Springs woman was so moved by horror stories from puppy mills that she started the Mill Dog Rescue Network and has since rescued over 2,000 dogs from commercial breeding facilities.

Most of her rescues don't take place in Colorado, because according to the Colorado Springs Independent, most Colorado breeders are considered "small-scale operations, transferring between 25 and 99 dogs a year."

Only about 1 percent of Colorado's 1,800 licensed facilities are large scale breeders transferring 100 dogs or more per year.

The Pet Animal Care Facilities Program, which is hosting today's meeting, is responsible for licensing and inspecting breeding facilities through Colorado's Department of Agriculture and breeders much meet minimum standards for sanitation, humane care, veterinary care and ventilation.