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The Maryland House Economic Matters Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Monday, March 12, which will prohibit retail pet stores (defined as any “for profit establishment open to the public that sells or offers for sale domestic animals to be kept as pets”) from selling any dogs or cats.  Instead, they would only be allowed to “showcase” animals available for adoption from an animal welfare organization or animal control unit.Current law requires that retail pet stores provide information on the source of the dog, USDA inspection information from the last two years for each breeder, contact information for the source of the animal (including shelters and rescues), and any identifying information such as a collar number or microchip.  Pet stores were also required to keep records on health and veterinary treatments, information and registration information on the sire and dam if applicable, and other important information.

House Bill 1662 would remove all these requirements that protect the health and welfare of dogs and enable consumers to know the health and background of the animal prior to sale.  In addition, even though the bill allows animals to be “showcased” that are available for adoption, no background information or information on the shelter or rescue is required.

Maryland residents are strongly encouraged to contact the committee and express your concerns with House Bill 1662 as introduced.  Scroll down for committee contact information.  

Talking Points Against HB 1662:

  • Although this bill is called the “No More Puppy Mill Pups Act of 2018”, fewer than 4 percent of pets purchased in the US come from pet shops. These laws limit choice and will do little to address any issues associated with substandard breeders.
  • HB 1662 harms responsible pet breeders and retailers who are regulated under federal and/or state laws, while encouraging the sale of pets that come from unlicensed and unregulated sources that are not subject to federal animal welfare or Maryland consumer protection laws.
  • HB 1662 will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and restrict pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated and uninspected sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations).
  • HB 1662 will reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.  Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.
  • HB 1662 would not allow the sale of dogs and cats at pet stores. This will prove economically disastrous for these businesses and the people who are employed by them.

For additional talking points, read AKC’s position statement on Pet Choice, and the article Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the hearing on March 12 and express your concerns with House Bill 1662 as introduced:Maryland House Economic Matters Committee
    March 12, 2018, 2:00 pm
    House Office Building, Room 230
    Annapolis, Maryland
    You must sign in to testify no later than 12:30pm. Oral testimony is limited to 3 minutes.  If you wish to submit written testimony, 35 copies must be given to committee staff no later than 12:00 pm.
  • Contact the House Economic Matters Committee and express your concerns with House Bill 1662 as introduced. Visit the House Economic Matters Committee webpage for contact information for the committee.

For more information on this bill, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at