FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A task force studying puppy mills has submitted findings to the legislature about proposed legislation from Fairfield state Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132nd District).
Kupchick proposed legislation last year that created the task force "to study the importation of puppies from substandard commercial animal mill 'Puppy Mills' in Connecticut," a press release said.
The task force submitted the recommendations to the Environment Committee for review. The Environment Committee will decide whether a bill moves forward to address the task force's work.
Kupchick said the proposal represents a middle ground between the pet store industry and animal rights advocates, who had sought a complete ban on the sale of commercially bred animals, according to a statement.
“Our task force listened to all the affected stakeholders, the public and put together a list of seven recommendations," Kupchick said. "The goal is about the health of the pets sold in Connecticut, ensuring families who buy a pet are protected and to hopefully have an impact on the breeding dogs that supply puppies to pet stores.”
The following are recommendations of the task force on the sale of cats and dogs from inhumane origins at Connecticut pet shops:
- The Department of Agriculture shall submit recommendations to the Environment Committee concerning a standard of care applicable to in-state breeders of cats and dogs.
- Create parity between the animal importer statutes and the pet shop statutes by establishing criminal penalties for the violation of pet shop statutes and regulations.
- Clarify the statutory provision requiring pet shop owners to only purchase animals from breeders licensed by the USDA. Additionally, prohibit pet shop owners from purchasing cats or dogs from any breeder that has one or more direct violations of USDA regulations during the previous two-year period or three or more indirect violations of USDA regulations during the previous two year period. Finally, require pet shops to post the USDA inspection reports for breeders used by such pet shop in an area next to such animals and have such reports readily available without the need of a customer request.
- Amend the "Puppy Lemon Law" to require the payment of all veterinary services and medications for any cat or dog that becomes ill within 20 days of the sale or dies or is diagnosed with a congenital condition within six months of the sale.
- Increase certain fines applicable to the sale and importation of cats and dogs in the state pursuant to a schedule of fines developed by the Department of Agriculture.
- Require new pet shops established in the state to only obtain their cats and dogs through the use of humane sourcing.
- Establish a conveyance fee of not less than five dollars on the sale of each cat or dog by any pet shop or animal importer and require the deposit of such funds into a trust fund for use by the Department of Agriculture to enhance inspections and oversight of pet shops and animal importers.