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URGENT: Connecticut SB 499 Bad News For Responsible Dog Breeders

(Monday, May 04, 2009)

On Thursday, April 30, Connecticut Senate Bill 499, which seeks to impose several changes to Connecticut's consumer protection laws, passed the state's Senate with burdensome last-minute amendments. The bill is now in the House of Representatives. While the American Kennel Club (AKC) supports reasonable consumer protection laws that protect both puppy purchasers and responsible dog breeders, the changes contained in SB 499 are not reasonable. As such, the AKC and the Connecticut Dog Federation, both strongly oppose SB 499 as currently written. Because this bill may be considered tomorrow, all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Connecticut are strongly urged to immediately contact their state representative. Let them know that you oppose SB 499 as currently written, and urge them to do the same.

The American Kennel Club supports reasonable laws and regulations intended to protect the pet-buying public in obtaining a sound dog of the breed represented. Breeders and/or sellers should be responsible for providing certain refunds, replacements or reimbursements should the dog sold become ill or die from a condition contracted prior to purchase. Such remedies should be conditioned upon the buyer's scrupulous adherence to the care and feeding program prescribed by the breeder and/or seller, as well as a timely examination by a state-licensed veterinarian once the puppy has gone to its new home. Breeders and/or sellers should provide buyers with a written bill of sale detailing the responsibilities of both the buyer and seller. This bill of sale should also detail any exclusions to refunds, replacements or reimbursements.

As currently written, Senate Bill 499 includes several provisions that go far beyond any measure of reasonableness, including:

  • Requiring anyone who breeds two or more litters a year to have each puppy being sold examined by a veterinarian prior to the initial offering for sale, and examined every 15 days after the initial examination. The AKC believes that the provision requiring additional veterinary examinations every 15 days after the initial examination, regardless of whether a puppy is in sound health, is burdensome and unreasonable, and does not take into consideration the potential length of time responsible breeders may keep a puppy—in many instances, several months—prior to sale.
  • Directing all sellers of dogs to file a certificate of origin with the Department of Agriculture within two days of sale, or otherwise be subject to a $100 fine, 30 days imprisonment, or both. The AKC argues that not only is this provision unreasonable, but if enacted, would create an enforcement nightmare of Connecticut's Department of Agriculture, which will be required to enforce this provision.
  • Limiting kennel licensees from purchasing a dog or cat for resale from a breeder or other person, firm, or corporation located outside Connecticut that is not in possession of a current license issued by the USDA and any applicable state agency. This provision is both unreasonable and unenforceable because the various states have different breeder licensing regimes; as such, many breeders will not be able to meet the requirement of being licensed by both the USDA and a state. Additionally, the AKC believes that this provision opens the door to limiting the acquisition of all dogs from sources from outside Connecticut, regardless of intended purpose. This may result in many responsible breeders in Connecticut not being able to acquire appropriate dogs for their breeding programs from outside of Connecticut.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

All concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Connecticut are strongly urged to immediately contact their state representative. Let them know that you oppose SB 499 as currently written, and urge them to do the same. Click here to find your legislator.

If your Representative is a Democrat, please call the House Democrats at (860) 240-8500. If your Representative is a Republican, please call the House Republicans at (860) 240-8700. Ask for your Representative by name. Tell them that you are calling about SB 499 and respectfully let them know that you oppose the bill.

For tips on how to effectively communicate with legislators, click here.

For a copy of our Disagree Diplomatically brochure, click here.

For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.