Yesterday, after hours of testimony was presented, the Texas House Business and Industry Committee took no action on House Bill 1818. HB 1818 would limit pet stores located in counties of more than 200,000 residents to sourcing dogs from only: (1) an animal control agency, (2) an animal shelter, (3) an animal rescue organization, or (4) a breeder licensed by the state of Texas. An amendment that sought to remove licensed breeders as a permitted source, which would have made the bill a radical full retail sourcing bill, was also withdrawn.
Click here to read AKC’s March 19 action alert for HB 1818.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. We actively promote efforts to ensure that people 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. Laws to ban the sale of purpose-bred puppies are not only inefficient, they undermine the responsible dog ownership and the wellbeing of pets. For more information on this important issue, go to AKC Government Relations’ Pet Choice key issue page.
Instead of the harsh impact that would result if HB 1818 was enacted as introduced, AKC believes that a reasonable alternative would allow the retail sales of dogs in pet stores to continue if pet stores (1) adhere to appropriate care standards and (2) are prohibited from purchasing animals from any breeder that has been found to have committed a direct violation of USDA animal welfare regulations or three or more indirect violations of USDA regulations related to the health or welfare of an animal in the last two years and/or violations of Texas’ Dog or Cat Breeders Act. Moreover, AKC believes Texas residents may be well served by the enactment of reasonable consumer protection laws.
AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates and calls to action on HB 1818, including while the bill remains pending in the House Business and Industry Committee. For more information on HB 1818 or other pending Texas legislation, contact email@example.com.