WACO, Texas – The Waco Animal Welfare Advisory Board is cracking down on unsafe dog and cat breeding practices.

“What we’re looking at is any pet stores that get their pets from puppy mills,” says Board Member Danielle Tate.

Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities which keep dogs captive in cruel conditions for the purpose of reproducing.

According to The Humane Society of America, there’s at least 10,000 mills across the country. Tate says there are currently no mills in Waco, but with the rise of new business – it’s only a matter of time.

“It’s to be proactive instead of reactive in case there is an establishment that tried to move in to the Waco area,” Tate adds.

“[Customers] are going to know because of regulation exactly what they are buying – that its been vetted, it’s free and clear, and it also protects the animals from being overbred and exhausted,” says pet owner Katy Wiswall.

California and Maryland are the first two states to adopt the measure.

Currently, the ordinance does not apply to licensed breeders. Tate says the proposal is being drafted and will be presented to the Waco City Council in January.