The Maryland Legislature has approved a bill 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 pet purchasers with certain consumer protections and information including:
- Information on the source of the dog
- USDA inspection information on the breeder
- Contact information for the source of the animal (including breeders, shelters and rescues)
- Identifying information such as a collar number or microchip
- Records on health and veterinary treatments (including a health certificate from a veterinarian issued within 30 days before the sale)
- Information and registration information on the sire and dam if applicable,
- Other important information about the pets, and
- Certain rights and recourses if the dog suffers from or has died from certain diseases or illnesses.
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. The bill would also remove any recourse the customer currently has if they purchase a sick animal from a pet store.
In addition, even though the bill allows animals to be “showcased” that are available for adoption, no background information or information on the shelter or rescue is required.
Maryland residents are strongly encouraged to contact Governor Larry Hogan TODAY and ask him to veto House Bill 1662:
Phone: (410) 974-3901 or (800) 811-8336
Email form (can also be used to attach and send letters): http://governor.maryland.gov/mail/default.asp
Talking Points Against HB 1662:
• Although this bill is called the “No More Puppy Mill Pups Act of 2018”, fewer than 4 percent of pets purchased in the US come from pet shops. These laws limit choice and will do little to address any issues associated with substandard breeders.
• HB 1662 harms responsible pet breeders and retailers who are regulated under federal and/or state laws, while encouraging the sale of pets that come from unlicensed and unregulated sources that are not subject to federal animal welfare or Maryland consumer protection laws.
• HB 1662 will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and restrict pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated and uninspected sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations). If a customer purchases a sick puppy, all protection and recourse they currently have when they purchase a dog from a pet store is removed.
• HB 1662 will reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources. Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.
• HB 1662 would not allow the sale of dogs and cats at pet stores. This will prove economically disastrous for these businesses and the people who are employed by them.
For additional talking points, read AKC’s position statement on Pet Choice, and the article Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You
For more information on this bill, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.