In October, California passed a ball, banning the sale of dogs at pet stores, which came from breeders.
Oregon could soon follow California’s lead. House Bill 4045 would prohibit the state’s pet stores from selling dogs from any other source other than animal shelters, humane societies and other non-profit rescue services.
Sponsors of the bill say there are too many unwanted dogs at shelters, and a bill like this could drive up adoption rates. They also think this would give adopters a clear sense of where the dogs came from. Puppy mills have been criticized for creating unhealthy and dangerous conditions for animals.
With this bill, people would still be allowed to buy from breeders directly. It’s unlikely the bill will be voted on during this session.
State Representative David Gomberg is one of those sponsors. He wants the bill to include cats, as well.
“I want to see people going into pet shops and getting more animals that are coming from shelters than rescues,” he said. “Because I believe it’s good for the animal that would otherwise languish in our shelters. It’s also good for the public because of all the money that we are spending to take care of animals that are in public and non-profit shelters.”
Nature’s Pet Market in Salem has always done that, allowing only rescued pets to be featured in their store.
“We’ve heard some horror stories,” aid owner Terri Ellen, who’s in favor of the bill. “We’ve had customers who have actually purchased dogs from stores, and there’s some pretty sad stories: we don’t know what their health is like, where they came from, what conditions they’re living in.”
Mike Bober, the president of the pet industry joint advisory council, reviewed the bill. He doubts the bill’s effectiveness.
“This legislation just seems ill advised,” he said over the phone. “It’s not going to have the desired effect of sending a message to breeders. Because the breeders are not going to be affected by it. The people who are going to be affected by it are the independent retailers — the mom and pop stores that are still operating under this model.”