In a win for the dogs of Maryland, the state has just put into effect a new law targeted at stopping puppy mills. The law has very strict guidelines regarding the sales of both dogs and cats in pet stores. The law, H.B. 1662, also called No More Puppy and Kitten Mills Act of 2018, was first signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, back in 2018. While it’s been a long time coming, the challenges it faced finally paid off.
As Governor Hogan wrote in a Facebook post, “I was proud to push for and enact the No More Puppy- and Kitten-Mills Act of 2018, which bans retail stores from the sale of commercially-bred pets that all too often come from inhumane breeding mills. We will continue to advocate on behalf of animal welfare and encourage safe, humane pet adoption here in Maryland.”
Naturally, not everyone is in favor of the new law. In fact, three pet stores have pursued legal action under the claim that the law is unconstitutional. There are some pet stores and breeders who have voiced their concerns in regards to potential income loss resulting from this new law. However, lots of supporters feel differently. According to WUSA9.com the three pet stores that have joined together in order to sue the Maryland Attorney General.
The following are now the new legal requirements of the ways retail pet stores can procure a cat or dog intended for sale:
• From an animal welfare organization
• From animal control
• The original breeder (if the breeder meets the criteria set forth by the law)
The original breeder must have a valid license from the USDA Animal Welfare Act, in to complying with inspections from the USDA. Pet stores are now required to post the breed, age, and date of birth of each dog, along with the breeder or animal welfare organization’s information.
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Governor Hogan has said the law is meant to fight back on the neglect and corruption that occurs in puppy mills. He is not shy about being outspoken in regards to his views for being an advocate for all dogs across the state of Maryland.
“There are about seven pet stores in Maryland that might be affected, but there are thousands of puppies,” Governor Hogan told the Washington Post while holding a rescue dog.
Breeders are still allowed to breed dogs, the only different is now they have to comply with the law. The goal of the law isn’t to attack small businesses, but rather crack down on the abuse and neglect that happens in puppy mills. Those people that are angry with this law should really take a long, hard look at themselves and consider a new profession if they think that any amount of money is worth more than an animal’s welfare.
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