Bipartisan legislation supported by animal advocacy and humane groups
HARTFORD- Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield) joined CT Votes for Animals, the ASPCA, and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to advocate for a bipartisan amendment to H.B. 5386 that would prohibit Connecticut pet shops from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits originating from puppy mills and other cruel commercial breeding facilities. The bill was voted out of the Environment Committee with a provision calling for more research and recommendations from the Department of Agriculture.
Rep. Kupchick, Co-chair of the legislative Animal Welfare Caucus along with members of the welfare caucus have introduced a bipartisan amendment that would finally put an end to Connecticut pet stores importation of these cruelly bred animals.
According to HSUS, puppy mills are inhumane, commercial dog breeding facilities where the health of dogs is ignored to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits. Puppies bred in these conditions are prone to health and behavioral defects, but pet shops pass them off to consumers as healthy and from responsible breeders. This business model is deceptive, exploits animals, and perpetuates puppy mill cruelty.
Annie Hornish, Connecticut State Director for The Humane Society of the United States said, “We have uncovered evidence that Connecticut pet shops are currently dealing with some of the worst puppy mills in the nation.”
“I’ve worked on this issue since first being elected and passed notable legislative changes, however, the sale of puppies and kittens continue to be sourced by Connecticut Pet Shops from mills on the Humane Societies “Horrible Hundred” list of commercial breeders with the most egregious violations for inhumane treatment,” said Rep. Kupchick.
“The legislature must take decisive action to clearly affirm that Connecticut will not stand by and allow cruelly sourced dogs, cats, and rabbits to be sold in our pet stores. Calling for further research and study is just kicking the can down the road. We already know what we have to do. The bipartisan amendment I have introduced is the appropriate and needed response to Connecticut pet stores’ long standing business practice of importing cruelly bred animals into our state, and I encourage my fellow legislators to consider and support this language,” said Rep. Allie-Brennan.
“CT lawmakers have an opportunity to stand up for what is right and humane and shut off CT’s pipeline to misery by stopping the sale of cruelly bred dogs, cats, and rabbits in CT pet stores,” said Jo-Anne Basile CT Votes for Animals’ Executive Director. “The cute picture of that doggie in the window belies the dirty little secret that pet store puppies are puppy mill puppies. Thousands of CT residents have signed a petition telling legislators that they want action now. CT Votes for Animals is joining with Representatives Kupchick and Allie-Brennan and the amendment co-sponsors to bring an end to this cruelty inflicted on animals.”
“Nearly 300 localities across the country and two states have taken action to prohibit pet stores from profiting off cruelly bred animals. For many years, Connecticut has tried to prevent pet stores from bringing cruelly bred cats and dogs into its communities, but it is now time to take stronger action,” added ASPCA Senior State Legislative Director, Debora Bresch. “We applaud the proposed amendment’s cosponsors for recognizing that the only reasonable course of action is to ensure that pet shops can no longer sell commercially bred dogs, cats, or rabbits that they have obtained through any channel.”
The bill is expected to be voted on by the entire House of Representatives within the next few weeks.