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June 4, 2019

Two bills pertaining to pet shops will be considered by Rhode Island General Assembly committees this week.

  • House Bill 5072, scheduled for hearing on Wednesday, seeks to unreasonably restrict pet shops to selling only dogs sourced from shelters and rescues.
  • Senate Bill 699, scheduled for hearing Thursday, establishes reasonable operational standards for kennels that supply pet stores.

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.

Click here to read Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You! 

Oppose House Bill 5072
H.5072
seeks to prohibit pet shops from selling dogs or cats, unless the animal was obtained from, or is displayed in, cooperation with an animal shelter, dog pound or rescue.  The bill would also require pet shops to maintain sourcing records of each dog or cat for two years following the date of acquisition, and to provide each dog or cat’s sourcing information on its enclosure.

H.5072 would also prohibit pet sales on roadsides or other public property, but exempts shelters, pounds, or rescues, and displays associated with county fairs, 4-H, or similar exhibitions or education programs.

H.5072 is scheduled to be considered by the House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.  Concerned residents are encouraged to contact the members of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee to directly express concerns.  To access the committee individual member contact list, click here.

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information on these bills as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org.

Support Senate Bill 699
S.699
seeks to create operational performance standards for the sources of dogs or cats that are sold in Rhode Island pet shops.  They include prohibiting pet shops from purchasing a dog or cat for resale from breeders, brokers, or dealers that:

  • Are not in possession of a current USDA license and any license that may be required by an applicable state agency;
  • Has not had its federal or state license suspended in the last two years;
  • Was found to have a non-compliance rating of “critical” by USDA in the past two years;
  • Was found to have a direct violation by USDA in the past two years;

The bill would also prohibit pet shops from acquiring a dog or cat from a hobby breeder or person that has a cruelty conviction in the past five years, or from a rescue or shelter that has had a license suspension in the past two years.

S.699 also seeks to require pet shops to provide a health certificate issued within seven days of sale of the animal along with records that verify compliance with the sourcing standards listed above; and would prohibit pet sales on roadsides or other public property, but exempts shelters, pounds, or rescues, and displays associated with county fairs, 4-H, or similar exhibitions or education programs.

H.699 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, June 6.  Residents are encouraged to contact the members of the committee to express support of S.699.  The entire committee may be reached via email at Slegislation@rilegislature.gov.

 

 

 

 

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