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The Maryland House of Representatives has approved a measure 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, 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 are 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 on the dog or information on the shelter or rescue is required.

Read AKC’s previous alert for more information and talking points.

The bill has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.  Those who reside or sell dogs in Maryland are strongly encouraged to contact the committee members and express your opposition to House Bill 1662 as currently written:

Sen. Thomas Middleton, Chair
Phone: 301-932-0909
Email form

Sen. John Astle, Vice Chair
Phone: 410-841-3578, 301-858-3578, or Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3578
Email form

Sen. Joanne Benson
Phone: 410-841-3148, 301-858-3148, or Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3148
Email form

Sen. Brian Feldman
Phone: 410-841-3169 or 301-858-3169
Email form

Sen. Stephen Hershey, Jr.
Phone: 410-841-3639 or 301-858-3639
Email form

Sen. J. B. Jennings
Phone: 410-841-3706, 301-858-3706, or Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3706
Email form

Sen. Katherine Klausmeier
Phone: 410-841-3620, 301-858-3620, or Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3620
Email form

Sen. James Mathias, Jr.
Phone: 410-841-3645, 301-858-3645, or Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3645
Email form

Sen. Edward Reilly
Phone: 410-841-3568, 301-858-3568, or Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3568
Email form

Sen. Jim Rosapepe
Phone: 410-841-3141, 301-858-3141, or Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3141
Email form

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