Texas House Bill 1818, which seeks to limit most Texas pet stores from selling purpose-bred dogs, has been assigned to the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, which is expected to consider it next Tuesday, May 18th. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and a broad coalition of interest groups strongly oppose HB 1818.
With legislative deadlines and the end of the 2021 legislative session rapidly approaching, it is imperative that all Texas residents call, email, send a Facebook Message, or Tweet both the members of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee and your state senator to request they oppose HB 1818 TODAY! This may be the last opportunity to timely express opposition to HB 1818.
On principle, 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. HB 1818 violates these principles by attempting to 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, or (3) an animal rescue organization.
SAMPLE TEXT/TALKING POINTS:
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.
- Restricts pet stores in counties with populations of more than 200,000 residents to showcasing only pets that come from unregulated and random sources. In addition to impacting an unknown number of businesses, HB 1818 would 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 subject neither to animal welfare regulations nor the health tests and reporting requirements associated with those regulations.
- 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. I reiterate, the number of stores that would be impacted should HB 1818 be enacted is not known by the Texas Legislature. HB 1818 will force these 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.
- 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.
Thank you for your consideration. Please oppose HB 1818.
[Phone & email]
WHAT CONCERNED TEXAS RESIDENTS SHOULD DO TODAY:
First, email, call, Facebook Message, or Tweet the members of the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee and urge them to oppose HB 1818.
Senator Kelly Hancock, Chair (Dist. 9 – North Richland Hills)
Dist. Phone: 817-514-3804
Cap. Phone: 512-463-0109
Senator Robert Nichols, Vice Chair (Dist. 3 – Jacksonville)
Dist. Phone: 903-589-3003
Cap. Phone: 512-463-0103
Senator Donna Campbell (Dist. 25 – New Braunfels)
Dist. Phone: 830-626-0065
Cap. Phone: 512-463-0125
Senator Brandon Creighton (Dist. 4 – Conroe)
Dist. Phone: 409-838-9861
Cap. Phone: 512-463-0104
Senate Nathan Johnson (Dist. 16 – Dallas)
Dist. Phone: 214-750-2913
Cap. Phone: 512-463-0116
Senator José Menéndez (Dist. 26 – San Antonio)
Dist. Phone: 210-733-6604
Cap. Phone: 512-463-0126
Senator Charles Schwertner (Dist. 5 – Georgetown)
Dist. Phone: 979-776-0222
Cap. Phone: 512-463-0105
Second, email, call, Facebook Message, or Tweet your member of the Texas Senate and urge them to oppose HB 1818. Use the Texas Legislature’s Who Represents Me? tool to identify and contact your Texas Senator.
AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates and action alerts on House Bill 1818. For more information, contact email@example.com.