Why Pet Store Laws Affect You – American Kennel Club

Posted on: October 23, 2015

Most breeders don’t think they have much in common with pet stores. But many anti-breeder extremists already see you as one, and a slew of laws now appearing in dozens of communities across the country defines just about anyone who breeds or sells a dog as a retail pet store.

Across the country, animal rights groups are pushing an initiative of local proposals that target retail pet stores as a way to bankrupt dog breeders and retailers.

Over the past year, dozens of local jurisdictions have considered proposals to ban the sale of pets in pet stores. Supporters justify the initiatives by claiming that vendors get their dogs from facilities they call “out-of-state puppy mills.”

The current batch of anti-breeder proposals target legal and highly regulated pet stores and professional breeders as “puppy mills” or substandard dealers. They are also creating new definitions for the terms “retail pet store,” “pet store” or “pet dealer,” leading many breeders to believe the laws don’t affect them. But if you look at the fine print, the definitions of breeders and retailers often include anyone who breeds or sells more than a few pets per year.

As the proposals move from community to community, the pattern remains largely the same. Supporters make inflammatory allegations about breeder abuse (which they call ‘puppy mills’) and come up with a solution that, ironically, bans the most regulated and controlled sources (including breeders and licensed managers. federal) while urging the sale or adoption of animals obtained from sources that have little or no regulatory oversight and that are not subject to federal oversight, state consumer protection laws or other guarantees.

Essentially, these bans in retail pet stores do the exact opposite of their supposed intention: they remove consumer protections available to new pet owners, limit the ability of pet owners to obtain the right animal for their lifestyle, and potentially increase risks to the animal. public health for the whole community.

Increasingly, the measures also incorporate other damaging restrictions such as the requirement that all dogs sold be sterilized prior to sale. Since many puppies are sold at 8 to 12 weeks of age, this amounts to mandatory juvenile sterilization.

The AKC believes that the best way for a person to get a new pet is to interact personally with the animal’s breeder and the animal being considered. Years of restrictions on breeders in local communities have made it increasingly difficult to obtain a specific type of pet raised by a local breeder. Today, it is more important than ever that all dog lovers and those concerned about the future of our breeds work together to preserve the freedom of individuals to choose from a variety of pets and find the right one. that best suits everyone’s lifestyle. These pets can come from a variety of sources, including direct from the breeder, retailer, shelter, or rescue.

When governments attempt to limit the legitimate sources from which a person can obtain a pet, not only does it interfere with individual freedoms, but it also increases the likelihood that a person can obtain a pet that does not match. its way of life, and the likelihood that this animal will end up in a shelter.

Let’s take a look at an example of a typical “pet shop” proposal: Currently, the Town of Hempstead, NY is reviewing a typical proposal, which could be presented for a hearing and further consideration. in November. Key elements of Hempstead’s proposal are similar to a measure passed less than a year ago in neighboring New York City. They include:

  • Definition of an “animal dealer” as anyone other than a shelter or rescue who sells, transfers or gives away more than 6 dogs per year. For many breeds, this is just a litter.
  • Define a “pet store” as an establishment owned or operated by a person who sells / transfers more than 6 dogs per year, or sells / transfers 9 dogs that they have raised. For example, anyone who has a large litter of 10 puppies and sells, donates or transfers 9 dogs would be defined and licensed and regulated as a retail pet store – requirements that could be nearly impossible for breeders. residential or amateur.
  • Require “pet stores” to sterilize or neuter all dogs before they are sold / transferred (usually around eight weeks of age). (Click here for more information on the dangers of neonatal sterilization.) An exception exists for dogs that have a proven track record in show, although no puppy will have a record of exposure by 8 weeks of age.
  • Prohibit “pet stores” from selling dogs from breeders who do not have a USDA Class A license. This prohibits breeders who do not own or breed enough animals to qualify for a USDA license from selling the dogs they raised. It also hurts legitimate and responsible pet stores that source pets from highly regulated professional breeders.

All dog lovers and community activists should be concerned about these precedents. Definitions set the terms for the debate – and proposals like this will hurt responsible breeders, pet sellers, the long-term health of the community’s dogs and the community itself by forcing the majority prospective pet owners to procure animals from sources for which there is little or no oversight or consumer protection, including retail rescue and rescue imports.

About Patrick K. Moon

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