What Does Connecticut’s Proposed Puppy Bill Mean For Local Business?
The recent fire at Puppy Love in Danbury has sparked Danbury Legislators to once again rally behind a proposed bill they are calling the 'Puppy Mill Bill'.
The bill has been brought up before during legislative sessions, but failed to get the needed interest. Now since the Puppy Love fire, some of the younger guns in the General Assembly want to see something done, and the bill passed.
According to newstimes.com, the bill itself would address shutting down so-called puppy mills and kitten factories, which are large-scale commercial facilities that breed animals and sell them to many local puppy stores in Connecticut and New York.
Raghib Allie-Brennan, who represents Connecticut's 2nd Assembly District, serving Bethel, Danbury, Newtown, and Redding, is leading a bipartisan delegation of seven legislators. Of the seven on the committee, five are co-sponsoring the bill with Allie-Brennan.
The language of the bill, and the way it's designed, are similar to a law that took effect this past month in California, which bars pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits unless they come from animal shelters or rescue groups. The law, however, would not affect local breeders who sell direct to the public.
So how will this bill affect local stores that purchase animals from these puppy mills, and kitten factories, and sell them to the public? Sean Silverman is the owner of Puppy Love in Danbury, and even though all their dogs come from reputable breeders, and with complete guarantees, Sean is concerned that a law like this would put his business in jeopardy.
We've been sending home between 60 to 80 puppies a month, and we've been doing it for 25 years. Most of the people who come to us are looking for pure-bred dogs, which many local rescues don't offer. If stores like ours are unable to provide the type of puppies that people want, then some 15 to 20 thousand people here in Connecticut will go on the internet, get a dog with zero regulations, and have it shipped, but will not get any guarantees, it's just putting these people in a bad situations. I pay about $7,000 a month in vet bills back to customers whose dog or cat may have had issues within 20 days of the purchase. Stores like ours do this because it's the law. I have a five-year congenital warranty as well, something that would not be offered by a shelter or home breeder. The bill targets businesses like Puppy Love, who are heavily regulated to begin with, so you can see why the law would be a huge mistake.
Another one of the legislators on the seven panel committee, Representative Richard Smith from New Fairfield, told newstimes.com that he was not behind the measure. “I support the protection of all animals," said Smith. "But cannot support the overly broad language of the bill at this time".
Meanwhile, Representative Steven Harding from Brookfield is in favor of the bill saying, “As a dog owner myself, I am happy to support initiatives that help to ensure that pets are treated safely and humanely.”
Allie-Brennan is working overtime to get this bill passed. He's been talking to all Connecticut legislators who have these type of pet stores in their districts, trying to lobby them to get on the committee.