A bill introduced January 10th, 2020 aims to prevent the sale of dogs and cats by pet stores in Colorado. The “Humane Pet Act” also establishes new standards for the care and treatment of dogs and cats by breeders and prohibits animal sales in public places.
For breeders, this means limiting the number of dogs or cats managed at one time to 25. It also prevents the animals from breeding more than once a year and more than six total times in their lifetime.
The bill notes that dogs and cats bred in “mills” often develop physical or behavior issues. These dogs can also pass certain illnesses on to people.
“The documented abuses endemic to puppy and kitten mills include overbreeding; inbreeding; minimal veterinary care; lack of adequate and uncontaminated food and water; lack of socialization, exercise, and enrichment; poor sanitation; confinement in cramped, unsanitary cages; and exposure to extreme temperatures.”
Other concerns include misleading consumers into taking home sick or aggressive animals they are unlikely to help or keep, and mistreatment of animals.
Support For The Bill
The prime sponsors for the bill are Representative Monica Duran and Senator Mike Foote. Duran emphasized to KOAA News how poorly pet store dogs are treated.
“I really feel like Colorado could be instrumental and be a leader and saying look we love our animals they’re part of our family let’s treat them like they are.”
The bill itself maintains the restrictions on breeders and pet stores as “reasonable.” Most already comply with the new rules.
“This act places reasonable restrictions on persons who breed, sell, and handle animals. The vast majority of pet stores are already in compliance with the requirements of this act, as they do not sell dogs or cats, and pet stores that sell dogs and cats can convert to a new model that relies on products, services, and hosting adoption events to attract consumers. Breeders that treat their dogs and cats humanely will already be in compliance with the requirements of this act, and other breeders will have ample time to update their facilities to ensure the health of their animals and provide better care.”
Limitations on “pet stores” include any retail establishment where animals are sold to the general public. In other words, animal shelters and rescues or certified breeders are exempt.
Opposition To The Bill
Doug Johnson, who served on Colorado’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) advisory board believes the Humane Pet Act misrepresents the industry. He thinks it will only harm small pet shops.
“These pet shop owners provide jobs, they go ahead and they have employees, they pay taxes they contribute to the community and it would do nothing but devastate these pet shops.”
Johnson says practices of animal breeding have vastly improved over the last few decades. He sees no reason to harm small business owners under the guise of ceasing cruel animal practices they don’t participate in.
The bill is currently under review and the issue remains contentious. Let us know what you think!
H/T: KOAA News
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