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As previously reported, Texas House Bill 1818, which seeks to limit most Texas pet stores from selling purpose-bred dogs, has been assigned to the House Calendars Committee.

It is crucial that committee members hear from you about the harm HB 1818 would do to responsible dog ownership if it is enacted as currently worded.

SAMPLE EMAIL TEXT: 

Representative _____,

I am a proud Texas resident and urge you to hold HB 1818 in committee.  As currently worded, HB 1818:   

  • Violates the values of liberty, freedom, protecting business, and small government that Texas prides itself in.
  • Requires pet stores to showcase pets that come only from unregulated and random sources.  This would not only remove the most regulated and vetted source of pets from the market, it will exacerbate existing sourcing problems by incentivizing the sales of pets from unregulated sources not subject to animal welfare regulations or the health tests and reporting requirements associated with those regulations.
  • Is not about a Texas-specific issue.  In fact, Texas is just one of 14 states where animal rights‐driven, onerous pet store legislation has been introduced in 2021. HB 1818 and others introduced this year are modeled after a troubled California law that was enacted 2017 and resulted in harmful consequences there. 
  • Will do nothing to prevent animal cruelty, and will cause harm to Texans who want a quality purpose‐bred pet but don’t have access to a local breeder or do not want to be put on a long puppy waiting list.
  • Would disparately impact small players in the pet sales market.  Currently, only 4% of Americans obtain pets from a traditional retail pet shop, while approximately 44% of Americans obtain their pet from a retail rescue, traditional breed rescue, shelter, or similar source. The U.S. currently has a large market for “rescue pets”, and with it, significant economic incentive for individuals or organizations who can avoid regulatory oversight by irresponsibly breeding or “flipping” pets directly to meet this demand.
  • Will likely prove fatal to all targeted Texas pet stores that sell purpose-bred dogs. HB 1818 will force small businesses to change their business models and compete directly against large‐scale online retailers and big‐box pet supply chains, which can more easily realize economies of scale in the pricing of products. When small, independent stores cannot operate with the same economies of scale, they often are forced to shut down. The number of stores that would be impacted should HB 1818 be enacted is not known by the Texas Legislature, allied groups, or AKC.
  • Should be amended, as recommended by the American Kennel Club and other allied organizations, to require pet shops adhere to appropriate care standards and to prohibit them 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. This would continue to support the quality of purpose-bred dogs and cats sold by pet stores, do more to improve pets’ welfare than closing down retail pet sellers – and avoid destroying small businesses. 

Thank you for your consideration.  Please hold HB 1818 in committee. 

[Name]
[City]
[Phone & email]

 

What You Can Do:

All concerned Texas residents are strongly urged to contact the members of the House Calendars Committee to urge them to hold HB 1818 in committee.  Using the sample text above, please call, email, send a Facebook message, or tweet your opposition to HB 1818.

Representative Dustin Burrows, Chair (Dist. 83 – Lubbock)
(806) 795-0635
Dustin.Burrows@house.texas.gov
https://twitter.com/Burrows4TX
https://www.facebook.com/Burrows4TX

Representative Joe Moody, Vice Chair (Dist. 78 – El Paso)
915-751-2700
Joe.Moody@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/moodyforelpaso/
https://twitter.com/moodyforelpaso

Representative Tom Craddick (Dist. 82 – Midland)
(432) 682-3000
Tom.Craddick@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Representative-Tom-Craddick/476565212527872
https://twitter.com/TomCraddick2

Representative Cody Harris (Dist. 8 – Palestine)
(254) 582-4081
cody.harris@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/CodyforTexas/
https://twitter.com/CodyforTexas

Representative Cole Hefner (Dist. 5 – Mt. Pleasant)
(903) 717-8238
cole.hefner@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/votecolehefner
https://twitter.com/colehefnertx

Representative Ana Hernandez (Dist. 143 – Houston)
(713) 675-8596
ana.hernandez@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/AnaForTexas/
https://twitter.com/anahdztx

Representative Ben Leman (Dist. 13 – Anderson)
979-836-1238
ben.leman@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/BenLemanTX/
https://twitter.com/benlemantx

Representative Jared Patterson (Dist. 106 – Frisco) – HB 1818 Primary Sponsor
(214) 494-6498
jared.patterson@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/jpattersontx/
https://twitter.com/JaredLPatterson

Representative Toni Rose (Dist. 110 – Dallas)
(214) 371-3300
Toni.Rose@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/State-Representative-Toni-Rose-Texas-341166615893555/
https://twitter.com/reptonirosetx

Representative Shelby Slawson (Dist. 59 – Stephenville)
254-592-4909
shelby.slawson@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/SlawsonForTexas/
https://twitter.com/ShelbySlawson

Representative James Talarico (Dist. 52 – Round Rock)
512-463-0670
james.talarico@house.texas.gov
https://www.facebook.com/RepTalarico/
https://twitter.com/jamestalarico

AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates and action alerts on House Bill 1818.  For more information, contact doglaw@akc.org.

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