By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
I was thrilled to read that pretty soon pet stores in Los Angeles will stop selling puppies, kittens, and rabbits. The L.A. City Council passed an ordinance in November banning the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.
This makes Los Angeles the largest city in the United States to enact legislation to put an end to the flow of animals from pet mills, the large commercial breeding farms that supply pet stores.
In New York, however, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council put a band-aid on the problem by passing Senate Bills 3723 and 3955 and Assembly Bills 5114 and 1205. What we need is for the Pet Industry to do the right thing, which is stop selling pets in pet stores.
Senate Bill (SB) 3723 and Assembly Bill (AB) 5144 expand the timeframe for consumers, up to six months from the previous 14 days, to return a pet should the pet be diagnosed with a congenital defect adversely affecting the animal. Retailers responsible for selling a pet that becomes ill will be required to refund the purchase price, including taxes and reasonable veterinary fees incurred by the customer. In addition, this legislation requires that pet dealers disclose the name and addresses of both the pet brokers and breeders, as well as the location of where they receive their dogs. The current law already includes this information with the sale of cats.
Senate Bill (SB) 3955 and Assembly Bill (AB) 1205 address negligent or abusive pet dealers more stringently than current law and allows for the commissioner to hold a hearing to consider the suspension or revocation of a pet dealer license if the licensee has three consecutive inspections in which the licensee has failed to correct deficiencies of a critical nature.
I dream big; if L.A. can ban the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in its pet stores, so can NY. I realize NYS is much larger than L.A., but just think how wonderful it would be if everyone adopted a pet from a shelter. The absolute worst place to purchase a pet is at a pet store. The ONLY exceptions are when stores allow rescues to host adoption days in their stores.
Please share this story, and let people know that L.A. is way ahead of us here on the east coast, and that we can all do better by refusing to shop in stores that sell pets.
On A Lighter Note: I just started writing a pet column for parade.com. Please take a look by clicking here.