Under the Dome

McCrory mourns death of dog from ‘puppy mill’ campaign

Gov. Pat McCrory took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to note the death of a bulldog who was active in the governor’s efforts to strengthen regulations on commercial dog breeders.

Ernest, a puppy mill survivor, had visited the Executive Mansion with the SPCA of Wake County to help draw attention to the issue. McCrory offered his condolences to the SPCA and called Ernest “a beloved friend.”

The governor’s tweet included photos of Ernest getting a belly rub from McCrory, as well as a kiss from First Lady Ann McCrory.

According to a 2014 blog post from the SPCA of Wake County, Ernest was rescued from a Jones County puppy mill in 2012. He had health problems because of neglect at the facility.

After coming to the SPCA, Ernest did outreach work with the group’s humane educator, Vanessa Budnick, and served as a therapy dog at The Healing Place of Wake County.

McCrory has been pushing for tougher regulations on commercial dog breeders for several years. This session, the House approved a bill with new regulations in April, but the measure has stalled in the Senate.

The Senate first sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee, which never meets and is often where leadership sends legislation to die. Last week, it was removed from that committee and sent to the Redistricting Committee – a panel that typically doesn’t handle animal regulations.

That could be a sign that Senate leaders plan to add unrelated legislation to the bill.