N.J. Bill Would Require Pet Stores to Say Where Dogs, Cats Came From

Proposal aimed at cracking down on 'puppy mills'

One of the puppies removed from a Brick Township pet store in 2012 after the store was raided and shut down. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
One of the puppies removed from a Brick Township pet store in 2012 after the store was raided and shut down. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
In an effort to crack down on "puppy mills," a proposed bill that advanced out of a New Jersey state Senate committee on Monday would require pet stores to display information about each dog and cat for sale, including the name and address of the breeder.

The proposal by Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean) and Robert Singer (R-Ocean, Monmouth) also prohibits pet shops from selling or offering for sale, or purchasing for resale, dogs or cats obtained from breeders or intermediaries who are unlicensed, not in compliance with laws and regulation regarding the care of animals, or who have been issued certain citations on USDA inspection reports.

"We've heard too many stories about puppy and kitten mills that breed and keep too many animals in unhealthy and inhumane conditions," said Holzapfel, in a statement. "By requiring increased disclosure of a cat or dog's history at the point of sale, we can give consumers the opportunity to research the breeder and their reputation and make an informed decision on where to make their purchase."

Holzapfel has been introducing bills aimed at curtailing sales of dogs and cats from puppy mills since 2012, when a store in his district, Puppies Galore in Brick Township, was raided by authorities and shut down.

By the time authorities arrived at the store, 26 of the 39 dogs being held there were sick, some seriously. The photo attached to this story was taken by a Patch reporter as the dogs were being removed from the store.

A previous proposal by Holzapfel to create a registry of breeders in New Jersey did not make it out of the legislative committee that approved his latest bill.

"We must make it harder for puppy and kitten mills to anonymously breed and sell masses of unhealthy pets to consumers, who often are provided little if any information on the source of the cat or dog they are purchasing or the animal's medical history," said Singer. "The protections offered by this legislation will help put the bad breeders out of business and ensure that fewer families are heartbroken by a new puppy or kitten falling ill."

Pet stores that violate the law, under the proposed legislation, would face a $500 fine.
I've Got the 'Scoop'!, LLC June 13, 2014 at 02:07 AM
Also, think about why pets in pet stores are cheaper than if purchased from a breeder… if they had champion blood lines and show-quality parents as their papers lead buyers to believe, those animals would not be in the store selling at a much reduced rate! Sad but it's reality!
Jan Fisher June 13, 2014 at 08:40 AM
Has anyone ever noticed that these pet store register their puppies with "fly-by-night" registries? These are not CHAMPION blood line dogs. These registries only guarantee that the mother and father are the same breed...and, believe me, MANY customers have questioned whether their dog is truly the breed told to them!. Pet stores that sell puppies are predators (upon consumers). They sell the dog for huge mark up and then try to get you to buy vitamins for a puppy that DOES NOT NEED THEM; they sell you their dog food so you have to keep coming there or risk changing dog food on a young puppy AND they sell you a warranty (MANDATORY) $99 - that is not better, if at all, then you get FREE from the Puppy Lemon Law. Sorry but their customers are not very bright. No excuse for an impulse purchase, if you are educated about the pet store/puppy mill connection.
Judith Mirbach June 14, 2014 at 07:39 AM
To I've got the "scoop"" Ellie has a few different diseases. First called Hereditary multifocal retinal dysplasia and retinal folding treated with eye drops. The second is keratoconjunctivitis sicca (chronic dry eye) which needs to be treated with Optimmune which can lead to corneal ulcers, chronic pus comes out of her eye and could lead to blindness if not treated. At first "their" vet stated Ellie just had regular conjunctivitis (infectious) probably caused by being with so many puppies, but not until I took her to a specialist was it determined this was a predisposed condition. Granted cocker spaniels DO have some eye problems but not the extent of Ellie's problems. The next issue she has is distichiasis (ingrown eyelashes) which also increases the pus, irritation, redness so she has to be groomed around her face more often. Her other problem was a "cherry eye". At 5 months old a "piece of meat" started coming out of her left eye. It was diagnosed as a cherry eye. The pet store would ONLY pay for the surgery if I used "their vet". She had the surgery and it did not work so needless to say the "piece of meat" is still hanging out. Again, granted cocker spaniels are "prone" to eye problems BUT IT WAS DETERMINED IN ALL OF HER DISEASES BOTH MOTHER AND FATHER HAVE HAD TO HAVE THESE DISEASES AND WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY APPARENT IN THE ADULTS AND THEY WERE STILL BREEDING THEM. Right now she is stable and is used to getting the medicine in her eyes daily. I love her so much. Again, as stated the pet store DID NOT CARE WHATSOEVER!!!! They made their sale!
Marina June 17, 2014 at 10:33 PM
Hey Woodbridge Patch.....Do you have any pet stores in your town? Maybe someone should ask Mayor Mac, WHY!


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