Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy was joined by state legislators and puppy mill advocates for the signing of Public Act 14-77: An Act Concerning Certain Recommendations of the Task Force on the Sale of Cats and Dogs from Inhumane Origins at Connecticut Pet Shops.
The new state law will increase standards for Connecticut retail pet shops and breeders. Here is an overview of what the bill does:
- Require pet shops to reimburse customers for veterinarian expenses incurred to treat a dog or cat that becomes ill shortly after purchase from the shop (this now will cover the purchase price of the animal and veterinary costs).
- Prohibit pet shop licensees from purchasing dogs or cats from a breeder who has violated U.S. Department of Agriculture animal welfare regulations in the past two years.
- Require the state Commissioner of Agriculture to develop a standard of care applicable to in-state dog and cat breeders by Dec. 31, 2014.
- Require pet shops to post the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports for breeders of any dog offered for sale.
To view of the complete legislation, click here.
“There is evidence that puppy mills around the country have employed practices that any reasonable person would consider inhumane,” Malloy said while signing the legislation at a ceremony at the Greenwich Animal Shelter.
As an advocate of puppy mill awareness, it breaks my heart every time I drive by a pet shop. How could these owners be so cruel? So ignorant? It takes so much self restraint to not just march right in there and give them a piece of my mind…
But – as with so many things, sometimes you can catch more flies with honey. Next time you drive or walk by a pet shop and feel the need to offer a piece of your mind, try this:
Ask the clerk/owner where their puppies come from? How often they get new puppies? If they allow those who purchase these puppies to contact the breeders?
More often than not the responses will be vague and guarded.
Continue to let them know you, as a dog lover, only shop at pet stores that hold adoption drives instead of selling puppies. And you would be thrilled to see them change their practice to hold adoption drives instead.
Here are some benefits you can cite:
- Increased name recognition for the store
- Consumer loyalty
- Financial support through new customers and repeat visitors
- Stronger community ties thanks to your partnership with the local animal shelter(s)
The Humane Society also offers FREE listings to Puppy Friendly Pet Stores on their website, along with a free listing in their phone app so shoppers can find them anywhere. Did you know you can text “PUPPY” to 30644 to see puppy-friendly stores near you? Click here for more info and resources from the HSUS, including a printable “pledge” you can take into these stores.
This may seem like a such a small action, but imagine if each day someone took the time to stop in these pet stores and have this “talk. Imagine if each time a family was there, looking at puppies to purchase, and overheard your conversation. Sometimes, as an individual, we can feel powerless in this fight. But your voice – when combined with legislation, legal actions, rescues, and other efforts – does make a difference. It takes a lot of steps to walk a mile.
Click here to join me in supporting National Mill Dog Rescue as they rescue, rehabilitate and rehome discarded puppy mill breeding dogs.