Pennsylvania Puppy Retail Sales Bill

Two bills are about to be introduced that will prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores unless sourced from shelters and rescues, close the existing loophole in the outdoor sales law that allows licensed kennels to sell a dog at any public place in Pennsylvania, and require advertisers to include license numbers.

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

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.
  • Cutting off the puppy mill to pet store supply chain will decrease the demand for puppies raised in puppy mills considered shocking, appalling, and unacceptable by the majority of Pennsylvania constituents.
  • 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  • Stores that sell commercially raised puppies operate based on an outdated and socially unacceptable business model, and are an outlier in their own industry.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.

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, 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.
  • 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.

STATUS: Representative Jason Ortitay  is circulating a co-sponsorship memo requesting that supportive representatives  sign to co-sponsor his bill.  Please contact your state representative to say “Please sign on to co-sponsor Rep. Ortitay’s anti-puppy mill sales bill.”   Then a second call is needed! Senator Guy Reschenthaler is ALSO circulating a co-sponsorship memo asking for supportive senators to sign on to co-sponsor his companion bill in the senate.  Please contact your state senator to ask ”  Please sign on to co-sponsor Senator Reschethaler’s s anti-puppy mill sales bill.”

 

 

 

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