Pennsylvania Puppy Retail Sales Bill

SB 1154, introduced by Senator Guy Reschenthaler, will prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores unless sourced from shelters and rescues and require advertisers to include license numbers, which will deter non-registered illegal breeders. House companion bill HB 2601 was introduce by Representative Jason Oritay . 

STATUS:  Please contact your state representative to say “Please support Rep. Ortitay’s anti-puppy mill sales bill HB 2601” and then your state senator to ask ” Please support Senator Reschethaler’s s anti-puppy mill sales bill – SB 1154.”

These bills will help shift the pet market towards humane sources:  

  • Consumers spend thousands of dollars caring for sick pet store puppies, in some cases, only to suffer the heartbreak of their new pet dying. Dogs who survive are often behaviorally challenged puppies who struggle to transition from life in a cage to life in a family.
  • Customers are duped into buying puppies who were raised in puppy mills. No pet store admits their puppies come from large scale, factory farm like kennels.

These bills will promote animal welfare, adoption and responsible breeders:

  • It is well-documented that puppy mills (inhumane commercial breeding facilities that disregard the well-being of dogs for profit) supply pet stores with puppies; documentation shows that Pennsylvania pet stores are no exception.
  • This bill will help shift the pet market towards humane sources, including shelters and rescues that are burdened with finding families for homeless pets, thousands of whom are euthanized each year in Pennsylvania alone.
  • Responsible breeders, who care deeply for their dogs, will continue to provide Pennsylvanians with healthy, socialized dogs. These breeders will not be impacted by this bill because they do not sell to pet stores, as their breed clubs discourage it and demand to meet buyers in person.

These bills are business friendly.

  • Stores that sell commercially raised puppies operate based on an outdated and socially unacceptable business model, and are an outlier in their own industry.
  • The huge majority of pet stores, including the largest and most successful chains as well as small mom and pop shops, do not sell puppies, proving that pet stores do not need to sell puppies to be successful.
  • Pets Plus Natural, with five locations in Pennsylvania, used to sell commercially raised puppies but switched to the humane model after learning of the high kill rates in shelters. To date, they have adopted out over 8,000 animals and business is thriving. The owners credit their success to having a much better reputation in the community.
  • The HSUS pet store conversion staff assists Pennsylvania’s puppy-selling pet stores with conversion to a humane model that does not rely on the sale of puppies from cruel mills.

According to the USDA itself. Contrary to pet store rhetoric, a USDA license does not disqualify a facility from being a puppy mill.

  • The USDA is redacting all pertinent information from animal welfare inspection reports posted on their website and available via public records requests. It is considering allowing third party inspections of commercial breeders, which would likely result in a self-regulated puppy mill industry.

These bills will end black market puppy sales with a strong outdoor sales law.

  • Under current law, a licensed kennel can sell a dog at any public place in the Commonwealth. A license does not guarantee a breeder is humane and selling healthy puppies, which is why the exemption for licensed kennels will be removed under this bill.

    These bills will codify into state law ordinances passed by Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

    Federal and state laws do not adequately protect animals or consumers.

    • Pennsylvania law currently does not regulate where pet stores source puppies and does little to protect consumers beyond requiring meager reimbursement for sick puppies.
    • Federally licensed breeders face minimal USDA regulation. Standards of care are shockingly low, allowing breeding dogs to spend their entire lives in filthy wire cages only 6 inches larger than the dog; and enforcement is severely lacking,
  • Purchasing a puppy at a remote location makes it impossible to see the parents of the puppies or the conditions in which they were raised—making it the perfect sales venue for unscrupulous dealers.
  • Young puppies are often outside in the cold or blistering heat for far too long, and puppies that are not sold may simply be let loose. Moreover, consumers who end up with sick puppies have no way of contacting the breeder for additional information, reimbursement of veterinary bills, etc.
  • Arizona, California, Maryland and Virginia have passed similar laws.





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