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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The American Kennel Club’s Government Relations Department (AKC GR) has learned that the Legislation and Rules Committee of Stamford, Connecticut’s Board of Representatives is scheduled to consider an ordinance proposal tonight that seeks to limit consumer choice by requiring pet shops in the city that sell dogs and cats to source animals only from shelters and rescues.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. AKC actively promotes efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible ownership and have access to a pet that is right for them. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from shelter or rescue distributors.

TAKE ACTION NOW!  Connecticut residents, especially those who live in and around Stamford, are strongly encouraged to email the members of the Legislation and Rules Committee, along with all members of the Board, to express opposition to the proposed limitation on consumer choice.  See contact information, below.

Stamford residents are also strongly encouraged to attend tonight’s meeting of the Legislation and Rules Committee, which is scheduled to begin at 7PM in the Democratic Caucus Room of the Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford, CT 06901.


  • The AKC and its breeders and owners share public concerns about the wellbeing of all pets. As a not-for profit organization dedicated to the health and wellbeing of all dogs, our clubs operate the largest purebred rescue network in the nation.
  • This measure will do nothing to address the complex issue of irresponsible dog ownership, including breeding done by irresponsible dog owners. Studies by the American Pet Products Association (2016) show that approximately 4% of dogs obtained by U.S. consumers are purchased at a pet store, where consumer protection laws protect new pet owners. However, some 44% of dogs are obtained from rescues, shelters, large rescue/retail rescue fairs, parking lot sales/adoptions and related events. A large number of the dogs from these sources are being imported into Connecticut from out of state and outside the country.
  • This proposal ignores recent advances in federal and state laws and regulations by seeking to ban the retail sale of pets from licensed, inspected and regulated breeders or retailers selling such pets.
  • The proposal will exacerbate animal welfare issues because it removes from the market the most regulated, health-tested and temperament-checked sources of pets, while promoting pets from sources that lack this oversight.
  • The proposal fails to clarify whether current statutory protections for consumers who purchase a dog or cat from a pet shop (puppy lemon laws) will extend to dogs or cats offered if the ordinance becomes law. Other communities that have passed these laws have repealed consumer protection laws for pet purchasers.
  • Most communities lack sufficient local breeders to meet the demand for the specific pets desired by local residents. Those seeking a puppy that is a specific breed from a breeder subject to USDA or state animal welfare standards, or one that is covered by Connecticut consumer protection laws, will likely be forced to purchase a puppy outside Stamford, or to obtain one of unknown origin and no health guarantees from rescue distributors, rescues or shelters.
  • When consumers cannot acquire a pet that is an appropriate fit for their lifestyle, that animal is more likely to end up in the shelter system.

Click here to read Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You.


Benjamin Lee, Committee Chair
Phone: (203) 614-9366

Elise Coleman, Committee Vice Chair
Phone: (203) 978-0894

Mary Lisa Fedeli
Phone: (203) 353-0405

Jonathan Jacobson
Phone: (203) 561-6873

Bob Lion
Phone: (203) 340-1224

Lindsey C. Miller
Phone: (203) 424-7797

Susan Nabel, Board Clerk
Phone: (203) 322-4217

Charles Pia, Jr.
Phone: (203) 667-6809

Matthew Quinones, Board President
Phone: (203) 667-6295

John R. Zelinsky, Jr.
Phone: (203) 348-3870


Terry Adams –
Marc Aquilla –
Megan Cottrell –
Virgil de la Cruz –
Gloria G. DePina –
Monica Di Costanzo –
Anabel D. Figueroa –
Philip J. Giordano –
Anzelmo Graziosi –
Steven Kilenberg –
Alice R. Liebson –
Diane Lutz –
Dennis Mahoney –
Raven Matherne –
Marion McGarry –
J.R. McMullen –
Bradley Michelson –
Mavina F. Moore Sr. –
Eric Morson –
Denis W. Patterson –
Tom Pendell –
Rodney Pratt –
Robert Roqueta –
Ines Satfic –
Nina Sherwood –
Tony Spadaccini –
Jeffrey Stella –
Annie M. Summerville –
Lila Wallace –
David Watkins –

AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates on Stamford’s effort to limit consumer choice as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at