New legislation increases standards for animal care at pet shops

Joined by state lawmakers and advocate, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently held a bill signing ceremony at the Greenwich Animal Shelter to commemorate a new law that will increase standards for Connecticut retail pet shops and breeders.

Public Act 14-77An Act Concerning Certain Recommendations of the Task Force on the Sale of Cats and Dogs from Inhumane Origins at Connecticut Pet Shops, increases the accountability of pet stores through increased standards and business practices.

“There is evidence that puppy mills around the country have employed practices that any reasonable person would consider inhumane,” said Malloy.  “By signing this bill into law, we are setting standards in Connecticut to ensure that animals are living in humane conditions.  I would like to thank the chairs of the Taskforce on the Sale of Cats and Dogs from Inhumane Origins at Connecticut Pet Shops and all of those who provided constructive input to make this bill a reality.”

The law will:

  • Require the State Commissioner of Agriculture to develop a standard of care applicable to in-state dog and cat breeders byDecember 31, 2014.
  • Prohibit pet shop licensees from purchasing dogs or cats from a breeder who has violated USDA animal welfare regulations in the past two years and increases the fine for violating related requirements.
  • Require pet shops to reimburse customers for veterinarian expenses incurred to treat a dog or cat that becomes ill shortly after purchase from the shop.  The reimbursement now covers the purchase price of the animal and veterinarian costs.
  • Requires pet shops to post the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports for breeders of any dog offered for sale.

“It was a pleasure to lead a taskforce with Representative Brenda Kupchick that worked over many months to bring recommendations to the legislature that ultimately lead to this new law,” said State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), co-chair of the taskforce that developed this legislation.  “Connecticut should be proud of the compassion we show through our laws for our four-legged friends.

“Working on this issue since 2011, I’m grateful to see a bill that goes a long way toward minimizing ‘puppy mill’ puppies being sold in Connecticut,” said state Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield), co-chair of the taskforce.  “What many people don’t see are the conditions the breeding parents live in who supply puppies to pet stores or over the internet.  This law also protects the public from the costs associated with sick puppies or kittens and provides for more accountability from pet stores.”

“We thank Gov. Malloy for his compassion for animals and leadership in the fight against puppy mills.  This bill will keep some of the worst puppy mills in the country from selling to Connecticut pet stores,” said Annie Hornish, Connecticut state director for the Humane Society of the United States.  “One way citizens can help fight puppy mills is by adopting from municipal pounds like the Greenwich Animal Shelter, or purchasing from responsible, ethical breeders, who never sell through pet shops.”

The legislation becomes effective October 1, 2014.

 

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