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On Thursday, February 25, HB21-1102, The Consumer Protection for Dog and Cat Purchasers, passed the Colorado House Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Committee, the bill’s first major hurdle in becoming law.
Harley’s Dream, an organization created to bring awareness and educate the public about the cruel commercial dog breeding industry, applauds the work of state bill sponsors Representative Monica Duran, Representative Matt Soper, and Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis in their efforts to bring this monumental piece of legislation forward in Colorado.
If passed into law, this bill would prohibit a pet store that was not already licensed by the commissioner of agriculture prior to its passage from selling dogs or cats. It would also require each currently licensed pet store that does sell dogs or cats to:
- Include the purchase price of the animal and the breeder license number in all online and print advertisements.
- Post purchase price and all breeder information including name, address, state and/or federal license number on each kennel.
- Disclose to consumers in writing before each purchase the purchase price, interest rate/range associated with financing or any credit card offered, and breeder information – including any license numbers and any violations received in the previous two years.
Pet store puppies are mass-produced in commercial breeding facilities across the country. The breeding dogs, the mothers and fathers of these puppies, often spend their entire lives living in inhumane conditions in small, wire cages with little or no veterinary care or human interaction. The facilities are regulated by the USDA as if these companion animals are livestock. USDA regulations require the breeding facilities meet mere “survival standards”. The puppies, often with genetic health issues or harboring illnesses, are shipped off to pet stores only to be sold to unsuspecting consumers who do not realize or fully understand the cruel reality behind that cute puppy in the window.
“We are proud to see this important legislation move forward. It is a crucial step in establishing consumer transparency while helping to ensure Colorado will not further enable the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline,” said Harley’s Dream co-founder Rudi Taylor. “We have been actively involved in educating the public about this cruel industry since 2011. Through the passage of multiple municipal ordinances in 2019 and 2020, prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, starting with the town of Berthoud, our state residents have shown their overwhelming support of measures to ensure the humane treatment of our companion animals. Enacting a state law is the logical next step.”
Other states and communities that have passed similar laws have found such legislation boosts adoption from rescues and shelters. In 2019 alone, Colorado’s shelters and rescues moved over 109,000 dogs and 65,000 cats – and over 15,000 of these dogs and cats were euthanized. Some of these animals originated at pet stores and were relinquished by owners when their circumstances changed, or the animal became more difficult to care for than anticipated. Others are still there because they were overlooked as someone purchased a purebred animal from a pet store.
We will be watching closely as this bill continues to make its way through the Colorado legislature, and we encourage Colorado residents who support it to contact their state representatives today.
About Harley’s Dream:
Harley’s Dream was established in 2016 in honor of Harley, a senior one-eyed puppy mill survivor who became the face and voice of the puppy mill dogs worldwide. With a mission to create awareness and educate the public about the cruel commercial dog breeding industry, also known as puppy mills, Harley’s Dream has been making huge strides. Through a grassroots approach by large groups of concerned citizens, the organization has been involved with bringing change in communities across the country. Harley’s Dream is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Berthoud, Colorado.
Learn more at: www.harleysdream.org