On Monday, July 20 at 7:30pm, residents in Holliston, Massachusetts will be asked at its annual town meeting to vote on warrant Article 22 . Although the proposal’s title is “Protecting Consumers and Animals in Holliston,” it instead would ban the sale of purpose-bred pets from state-inspected and -licensed facilities, like pet shops, in favor of sales of animals obtained from shelters and rescues. Holliston currently has no licensed pet shops. Approval of Article 22 would tip the scales in favor of obtaining a dog, cat, or rabbit:
- Off the internet, without the opportunity to first meet the pet;
- Of unknown history and randomly sourced; or
- Imported by a retailer, some of which market their pets as “rescues” and deliver them on a roadside, public right-of-way, commercial parking lot, flea market, or other outdoor market.
Unscrupulous online pet sellers and irresponsible pet importers frequently dupe pet buyers. Last year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed lawsuits against two such bad actors. One resulted in the re-payment of $480,000 to pet buyers deceptively sold sick puppies online that were claimed to be registered with AKC and microchipped but were not. The other led to charges against an animal rescue operator unable to account for over $360,000 in charitable donations.
In addition, Article 22 defines “animal rescue entity” in a way that discriminates against dog breeders by prohibiting them from continuing their animal rescue activities. It is inconsistent with state law. The AKC Rescue Network, the largest network of dog rescue groups in the U.S., with more than 450 groups providing fostering and rehabilitation services, would be negatively impacted by Article 22. For this reason, and because many responsible purebred dog breeders also participate in breed rescue work, AKC opposes Article 22.
The town meeting and vote is scheduled for Monday, July 20, 2020, at 7:30pm at the Placentino/Miller Elementary School Cafetorium, 235 Woodland St., Holliston Massachusetts.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Holliston residents are encouraged to attend the town meeting and vote “NO” on Article 22.
- Massachusetts breeders with family and friends who reside in Holliston are encouraged to contact them in advance of town meeting and share these concerns prior to voting.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.