The Colorado House has passed a bill that would limit consumer choice in the state by restricting new pet stores from opening, creating new requirements regarding what information about breeders must be made publicly available by state pet stores, and potentially allowing local referendums on this issue.
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and could be considered this week. Colorado residents are strongly encouraged to contact the committee TODAY to express concerns with House Bill 21-1102. (Scroll down for contact information)
As passed by the House, HB 21-1102, removed false and misleading legislative findings with false claims about breeders, but still contains many troublesome provisions, including:
- Preventing future retailers from selling dogs and cats – While current pet stores will be allowed to exist, it will prevent future retailers from selling dogs and cats, and also limit current pet stores from expanding their businesses. The number of pet stores in the state may not exceed the number currently in operation.All who breed and sell dogs should be concerned with this provision, even if you do not work with pet stores. If this bill passes, it creates the implication that the state is declaring that the best – and only – place to get a dog is from a shelter/ rescue.
- Limiting consumer choice – The bill would limit the ability of future pet owners to obtain the type or breed of dog they wish. There are residents in Colorado who may not have access to a local breeder of the breed they’d like to acquire or may not want to be put on a long waiting list, etc. Instead, they may wish to purchase a dog from a regulated, licensed pet store where they can benefit from consumer protection laws, including information about an animal’s health history, and where they can maintain ongoing professional relationships for advice during the life of the pet. Not allowing future retailers to sell dogs would restrict this important pet choice.
- Requiring contact information for breeders to be publicly displayed – The bill requires that pet stores provide the name of the pet’s breeder and kennel name on each enclosure. Pet stores have expressed concerns that this could lead to breeder harassment by animal rights activists. Others have stated that these requirements are more appropriate for PACFA regulations, than new statutes.
- Allowing referendums on this issue – As written, the bill would be enacted 90 days after adjournment of the General Assembly. However, if a referendum petition is filed against any part of this bill, then it will appear on a ballot in November 2022. AKC GR is concerned that this will create further unnecessary regulation of breeders and pet retailers without the checks and balances of the standard legislative process, regulatory process, and appropriate input and discussion.
What You Can Do:
- Contact Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee TODAY and express concerns with HB 21-1102. If you are a constituent of a committee member, use the form provided in the Legislative Action Center online alert to directly contact them. Here is the contact information for the full committee:
Kerry Donavan, Chair
Jessie Danielson, Vice Chair
For questions or more information, contact the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-842-1033, or AKC Government Relations at email@example.com.