Maryland legislators are looking to hold pet store owners accountable for selling dogs bred under inhumane conditions at "puppy mills."
Patch reported last month that a duo of bills in the General Assembly, one in the Senate and one in the House, called for pet stores to provide more information on the origin of their dogs and to reimburse consumers if a dog gets sick.
While the bill received support from the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, pet store owners told the newspaper it might negatively impact their business.
Tami Santelli, the Maryland director of the Humane Society, that nearly all pet store puppies come from puppy mills.
“Responsible breeders don’t sell to puppy stores,” she said. “Oftentimes, puppies are taken from mothers when they are young and susceptible to diseases. [They are] transported to puppy stores, people buy them, and then a few days later they get sick. Months later, they get a congenital issue--sometimes they die.”
Sue-Ann Slonin, manager of Potomac Kennels, a pet store in Gaithersburg, told the Gazette having to pay for vet bills would be difficult for pet stores.
“It doesn’t happen often, but the out-of-pocket cost is high enough that it would have a significant effect on our ability to exist,” said Slonin.
What do you think--should pet stores be held responsible for vet costs if a puppy is from a puppy mill? Tell us in the comments.