Read the original article by AKC Government Relations at akc.org here.
The Pennsylvania Senate is expected to vote very soon on Senate Bill 1154, which will prohibit retail pet stores (defined as any “for profit establishment open to the public that sells or offers for sale domestic animals to be kept as pets”) from selling any dogs or cats. Instead, they would only be allowed to provide animals from shelters or rescues.
Even if you do not personally provide dogs to pet stores, this bill could have significant implications for all who want to promote the breeding and sale of healthy, purebred dogs.
Pennsylvania residents and those who have or plan to purchase a pet in Pennsylvania are strongly encouraged to contact the Senate and express your concerns with Senate Bill 1154. Scroll down for committee contact information.
Talking Points Against SB 1154:
- Fewer than 4 percent of pets purchased in the US come from pet shops. These laws limit choice and will do little to address any issues associated with substandard breeders.
- This bill will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and restrict pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated and uninspected sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations).
- This bill will dramatically reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources. Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.
- This bill will harm responsible pet breeders and retailers who are regulated under federal and/or state laws, while encouraging the sale of pets that come from unlicensed and unregulated sources that are not subject to federal animal welfare or Pennsylvania consumer protection laws.
- This bill does not require shelters or rescues to supply pet shops with dogs to sell. A lack of supply will prove economically disastrous for these businesses and the people who are employed by them.
- A bill has already been introduced in the Senate that would expand consumer choice in the Commonwealth and protect purchasers if there is a significant health issue with their pet. Senate Bill 54 is a much better and more effective solution, and the Senate should advance this bill instead of Senate Bill 1154.
For additional talking points, read AKC’s position statement on Pet Choice, and the article Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You
What You Can Do:
Contact the following Senators and ask them to not support Senate Bill 1154. Encourage them to instead support Senate Bill 54 that provides real consumer protection for Pennsylvania. When contacting them, be sure to mention if you are a Pennsylvania resident or have purchased an animal in the Commonwealth.
- Contact Your State Senator. Type your address here to find the name and contact information for your Senator. Let them know you are a constituent when contacting them.
- Contact the members of the Pennsylvania Senate leadership (click on their name for email, phone number and social media contact information):
Senate President Mike Stack
Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph B. Scarnati III
Senate Majority Floor Leader Jake Corman
Senate Minority Floor Leader Jay Costa
Senate Majority Whip John R. Gordner
Senate Minority Whip Anthony H. Williams