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Georgia: Retail Pet Store Purchase Protection Act Proposed

Georgia: Retail Pet Store Purchase Protection Act Proposed 

Name: Georgia Retail Pet Store Purchase Protection Act

Bill Number: HB 144

Each year, more than two million dogs and cats are born in large-scale commercial breeding facilities, where they are kept in inhumane conditions that make them susceptible to disease and birth defects. To prevent the sale of animals from substandard puppy and kitten mills, HB 144 would require pet retailers to obtain dogs and cats only from federal Animal Welfare Act-licensed breeders who have no violations for two prior years. Additionally, this bill would require that all dogs and cats be vaccinated before their sale. Pet stores would have to post information about the breeder from whom the pet was obtained on the cage of each dog and cat. Stores would also be required to disclose at the time of the sale any hereditary defects that the dog or cat might have.

Unfortunately, this bill, unlike a very similar bill in the Senate (SB 214), would prohibit any local government body, including counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions, from enacting a ban on the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores in their jurisdiction. The intent of this bill, to prevent the sale of cats and dogs from substandard breeding facilities, is a good one. However, a total ban on the sale of cats and dogs from pet shops is an even more effective means of putting puppy and kitten mills out of business. Please do NOT support this bill, but support the Senate bill instead.

 

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Oppose the Retail Pet Store Purchase Protection Act

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to oppose the Retail Pet Store Purchase Protection Act, HB 144. This bill has many good provisions that would require pet retailers to obtain dogs and cats from licensed breeders, vaccinate all dogs and cats under the direction of a licensed veterinarian and provide new owners with options if a new dog or cat is later diagnosed with an illness or disease. Unfortunately, it also includes a provision that would prohibit any local government from passing a ban on the sale of dogs and cats by retail pet stores.

A legislative solution is essential in preventing unhealthy dogs and cats from being sold to unsuspecting consumers through retail pet stores, and in ensuring that dogs and cats offered for sale come from a humane source. The passage of this bill, or the Senate version of this legislation (SB 214), would undoubtedly help to improve the health and well-being of animals sold in pet stores. However, if a local government entity wishes to build upon this progress to promote adoption rather than the sale of cats and dogs, they should be allowed to do so.

I hope that you will oppose passage of this measure unless it no longer includes a prohibition on the home rule authority of local governments to ban the sale of cats and dogs in their jurisdiction.

Thank you

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]