It’s a doggone good day in Maryland! A new law has just taken effect that aims to stop puppy mills! The law offers strict guidelines for the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. H.B. 1662, also known as No More Puppy and Kitten Mills Act of 2018, was first signed into law in 2018 by Governor Larry Hogan. It’s been a long time in the works and wasn’t without its challenges, but perseverance paid off!
“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,” Governor Hogan proudly posted to Facebook.
Backlash Strikes But Justice For Pups Prevails
Of course, not everyone is thrilled about it. Three pet stores have taken legal action claiming the law is unconstitutional. Some pet stores and breeders are concerned about the loss of income that may result from it. But, proponents of the law feel otherwise. According to WUSA9.com, the three pet stores banded together to sue the Maryland Attorney General.
These are the new legal requirements of how a retail pet store can obtain a cat or dog that they intend to sell:
- From an animal welfare organization
- From animal control
- The original breeder (if the breeder meets criteria outlined in the law)
The original breeder must have a current license from the USDA Animal Welfare Act and must be in compliance with USDA inspections. The pet store is now required to post the breed, age, and date of birth of each dog along with the breeder’s or animal welfare organization’s information.
A Voice For The Helpless
Governor Hogan has stated that the law is meant to curb the abuse that occurs in puppy mills. He doesn’t mince his words when it comes to his strong feelings about being the voice for helpless dogs across the state.
“There are about seven pet stores in Maryland that might be affected, but there are thousands of puppies,” Governor Hogan told the Washington Post as he cradled a rescue dog.
Breeders can still breed dogs, they just have to do it according to the law. The goal isn’t to harm small businesses. It’s simply to stop the abuse and neglect that is seen all too often with puppy mills. A dog’s life and happiness is worth far more than any dollar amount a pet store could make.