Bill Would Ban Puppy Mills

HARRISBURG — Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny) has introduced legislation prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores unless they come from animal shelters or rescues.

“Too many families have been heartbroken after purchasing a puppy from a pet store that came from a puppy mill,” Ortitay said.

“These dogs then became sick and either died or cost the owners thousands of dollars in medical bills. Shelters and rescues have plenty of animals available for adoption.

“By requiring pet stores not buy from unscrupulous breeders, animals will be adopted into loving homes instead of euthanized.”

House Bill 2601 would require pet stores to partner with shelters and rescues to promote adoption. Responsible breeders do not sell to pet stores due to breeding club guidelines and the requirement that buyers meet breeders in person.

“The vast majority of pet stores already act in a responsible way and only sell pets from animal shelters and rescues,” Ortitay said.

“This proves that this legislation will not negatively affect pet stores who have not already embraced using humane sources.”

The bill also would close a loophole in state law allowing animals to be sold at outdoor venues such as flea markets and would require license numbers to be displayed in advertisements.

“Currently, only license kennels are allowed to sell a dog at a public place,” Ortitay said. “By ending this special exemption, buyers can observe the conditions where a puppy was born and raised thus allowing them to better evaluate the condition of the animal.”

The bill is awaiting assignment to a House standing committee.

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