2019 Puppy Mill / Commercial Dog

Breeding Industry Bills

4/27/19 – The first session of the 88th Iowa General Assembly has adjourned.

The Commercial Dog Breeding Bill (HF738)

This is a robust bill focused on addressing the puppy mill problem within Iowa’s commercial dog breeding bill. As this is such a large issue, intersecting state and federal regulations, human health concerns, consumer fraud, and animal cruelty, we released a full report to give all an overview. 

As this was the first year for such language to be introduced, we saw tremendous support and progress compared to previous years working on this issue at the Statehouse. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton), passed through a House State Government Subcommittee and the full House State Government Committee with bipartisan support. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the following legislators for their support of this bill and issue this session: 

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton) for sponsoring and championing this bill

Rep. Ross Paustian (R-Walcott) for his dedication to getting the bill filed and through the legislative process

Reps. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion) and Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) for their initial support and recommending passage as members of the House State Government Subcommittee

Reps. Jon Jacobsen (R-Council Bluffs) and Dave Jacoby (D-Coralville) for their continued support on this issue

And each representative who voted in support of this bill when considered by the House State Government Committee: Reps. Joe Mitchell (R-Mt. Pleasant), Marti Anderson (D-Des Moines), Robert Bacon (R-Slater), Michael Bergan (R-Dorchester), Jacob Bossman (R-Sioux City), Dennis Cohoon (D-Burlington), Karin Derry (D-Johnston), Molly Donahue (D-Cedar Rapids), Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines), Jennifer Konfrst (D-Windsor Heights), Vicki Lensing (D-Iowa City), Tom Moore (R-Griswold), Amy Nielsen (D-North Liberty), Ray Sorensen (R-Greenfield), Sharon Steckman (D-Mason City), and Phil Thompson (R-Jefferson).

We will continue to work on this issue and bill. Please join us!



We alerted you to this bill at the beginning of this legislative session as it moved quickly through the House Agriculture Subcommittee and full House Agriculture Committee.

Thanks to IVCA team members speaking out, House representatives paused and reconsidered the possible negative consequences. 

Essentially, if the original bill language was passed, Iowa would no longer require an individual to provide proof of identification when applying for an animal welfare license to operate a commercial establishment (defined in code as: boarding kennels, animal shelters, commercial breeders, commercial kennels, dealers, pet shops, pounds, public auctions, and research facilities) in Iowa. This would also result in IDALS, the agency tasked with issuing and overseeing such businesses, having no way to determine if each applicant has been previously convicted of “animal cruelty or neglect” and so barred from receiving such a license for at least five years, in accordance with Iowa Administrative Code. 

A special thank you to Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson), the bill’s floor manager, for his willingness to amend the bill language to require a “valid, government-issued photo identification, or other form of similar identification approved by the department…”  Also, thank you to Rep. Louie Zumbach (R-Coggon) for working on this amendment, and to Reps. Mary Wolfe (D-Clinton), and Rick Olson (D-Des Moines) for opposing the initial bill when considered by the House Agriculture Committee and helping draft an appropriate amendment.

While the House passed HF311 with Rep. Maxwell’s amendment, another amendment was filed in the Senate by Sen. Dan Zumbach (R-Ryan) that would have completely removed Rep. Dave Maxwell’s amendment language and again remove any requirement to provide a proof of identification when applying for an animal welfare license to operate a commercial establishment in the state of Iowa.

Thank you, again, to all who reached out to their legislators to inform about this bill!

This bill did not pass in any form as it was not brought to the Senate floor for debate.



Commercial Dog Breeding Bill (formerly HSB227, now HF738)

Sponsor: Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton)

Status: Survived the first legislative funnel! Passed by State Government Committee by a 20/2 vote