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Reports: 'Puppy Mill' Bill Passes Maryland House

Pet stores would be required to reimburse customers who end up with a dog from a puppy mill.

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.

The Gazette reports that the House version of the bill passed Feb. 16.

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. 

Billi Elliot March 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM
These poor pathetic pups are put into Pet Stores on consignment! SO if they die , their dear little bodies are just dumped in the trash. No skin off the Pet owners nose. Do not buy from Pet stores!
P McCullor March 15, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Let's make this nationwide! End this horrible business of cruelty!!!
Tess March 17, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Being born in a puppy mill has a negative impact on a dog's health. Many are born sick and/or with congenital defects that will be with them for life. Being used as a puppy mill breeder has a negative impact on an adult female dog's health and quality of life. Puppy mill breeders live most of their lives in a cage, in filthy conditions, with little or no veterinary care. Breeding females rescued from puppy mills have been found in deplorable conditions. This bill will have a negative impact on BUSINESS? BOO HOO!
Tess March 17, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Millions of dogs and cats in animal shelters are euthanized every year across the country. Some are put to death in gas chambers. This method of euthanasia is still shamefully practiced in many states. It's unconscionable that in puppy mills and kitten mills, these greedy humans continue to glut the market with more and more puppies and kittens, all for $$$, while so many healthy animals are being killed in shelters due to lack of adoptive homes.
pam flanagan March 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Wish the puppy mills were just shut down period! Shame on Petland and all the other pet stores that make money keeping dogs in such inhumane conditions.

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