MONTREAL- Animal rights activists say two recent puppy mill busts in Quebec illustrate a far greater problem than previously imagined and highlight the need for more government action.

With that in mind, the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is heading to Quebec City on Friday hoping to secure more powers from the agriculture minister as well as funding to help tackle what some are calling a burgeoning, unchecked problem.

In the span of a week earlier this month, animal welfare officials raided two mills operating in rural areas north of Montreal, saving some 275 animals.

"The fact that we performed two major puppy mill raids in less than a week certainly signifies the severity of the problem in Quebec," said Rebecca Aldworth, director of animal programs at Humane Society International Canada.

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