Pet shops should sell pet related products and any animals in their stop should be rescue animals so that one (the products) complements the other (the rescue animals). This is the ideal that animal advocates seek.
Although this high goal has not been achieved in Connecticut, Gov Malloy commemorated the signing-off of an animal rights Bill into law on June 18: the Public Act 14–77. This law is designed to put further restrictions upon pet shops in respect of selling animals.
The law is effective from October 1, 2014 and it prevents retail pet licensees from buying cats or dogs from breeders who have violated USDA animal welfare regulations in the past 24 months.
The law, then, sets standards in the state to ensure that animals in breeding facilities live in more decent conditions. It seems to me to be one more step towards the goal that I mentioned in the first paragraph, the complete removal of puppy mill dogs and cats from pet shops with the substitution of unwanted cats and dogs who need homes. It would mean the shops working in conjunction with animal rescue centres; a far more humane and sensible arrangement by any standards. I believe this arrangement would still allow shops to make a decent profit.
Connecticut is also one of 21 states in which pet shops are required to reimburse customers:
- As I understand it, if a kitten, for example, falls ill after being bought from a pet shop, the shop can now be held responsible for both the veterinary and other expenses and the purchase price of the animal up to $500 if the cat suffered from an illness deemed to be present at the time of the purchase. The law is enforced with a potential fine of $500 for a failure to comply.
- Pet shops are also required to post USDA inspection reports in respect of the breeders from which they purchase their cats or dogs. The state commission of agriculture is drafting a standard of care for breeders designed to set standards.
The process of coming to this point took about a year and is thanks to the efforts of an 11 member task force and some excellent politicians!