On February 22, a Colorado House committee will be considering a bill that restricts consumer choice and makes false claims about breeders.
Colorado residents are strongly encouraged to contact the House Agriculture, Livestock and Water Committee TODAY to express concerns with https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb21-1102. (Scroll down for contact information)
This bill would place certain regulations on current pet stores and only allow those currently licensed to sell dogs and cats in the future. Supporters of House Bill 21-1102, known as the “Pet Store Consumer Protection Act”, are claiming this bill will protect the public in Colorado when they purchase a puppy, but in fact it will do the opposite, including:
• Ignoring the health issues and dangers that can arise from importing dogs for rescue – This bill claims that by allowing pet stores to import dogs from other states, it is creating harm for the state – especially in a pandemic. However, it fails to recognize that there is also a significant concern with rescue importation.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the largest purebred rescue network in the United States, and we are proud that our national breed clubs take great care of the animals that come into their rescues. Unfortunately, there are rescues and transports that do not care as diligently for the animals. This is a significant concern that can impact both the public health and the health of animals. For more information, visit AKC’s key issue page at www.akcgr.org/petimport
AKC believes the better solution is strong enforcement of current Colorado laws and regulations for breeders, and regulating shelters, rescues, and transports, to ensure those dogs receive the same level of humane care and oversight.
• Preventing future pet stores from selling dogs and cats – While current pet stores will be allowed to exist (while following certain guidelines), it will prevent future pet stores from selling dogs and cats, and also make it very difficult for pet stores to pass their family-owned businesses on to future generations.
All who breed and sell dogs should be concerned with this provision, even if you do not personally source dogs to pet stores. The implication is that should this pass, the state is essentially declaring that the best – and only – place to get a dog is from a shelter/ rescue.
Instead of providing consumer protection, it would essentially gut the state’s excellent consumer protection laws, as shelters and rescues cannot provide the guarantees necessary for consumer protection. Additionally, it would limit the ability of future pet owners to obtain the type or breed of dog they wish. There are residents in Colorado who may not have access to a local breeder of the breed they’d like to acquire or may not want to be put on a long waiting list, etc. Instead, they may wish to purchase a dog from a regulated, licensed pet store where they can still get the consumer protections, including proving an animal’s health history, and where they can maintain ongoing professional relationships for advice during the life of the pet. Not allowing future pet stores to sell dogs would restrict this important pet choice.
• Allowing municipalities to restrict the sale of dogs and cats – This bill also states that this would not preclude any county or city in the state from enacting laws “including a prohibition on the sale or offer for sale of dogs and cats.” AKC is concerned with this provision that essentially encourages localities to regulate the sale of dogs and cats, which could impact local breeders as well as pet stores.
What You Can Do:
Contact the TODAY and express concerns with HB 21-1102. If you are a constituent of a committee member, use the link below to directly contact them. If not, use the following contact information:
Jeni James Arndt, Chair
Karen McCormick, Vice Chair