CT pet stores could be banned from selling dogs, cats, rabbits

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WESTPORT -

Connecticut pet stores could be banned from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits under a new proposal.

The proposal by Greenwich state Rep. Fred Camillo is designed to target so-called puppy mills.

"We want to change their business model a little bit,” says Rep. Camillo. “Where I think it would open up a whole new market for them."

But stores like Puppies of Westport say the law would put them out of business, and they say it's not even necessary.

Lauren Meren, from Puppies of Westport, says that Connecticut already requires stores to buy from USDA licensed breeders who haven't had any violations in the past three years.

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council Chair Laura Reid calls the proposal “entirely misdirected,” noting that the change could actually drive pet sales to the black market, which includes groups pretending to be rescue organizations: “A pet sales ban will not stop illegal puppy mills who care about profit more than the well-being of the animals.”

In a statement, she wrote that the more effective move by Connecticut’s elected officials would be to focus on protecting overall animal health, and to examine and apply care standards to all animal caretakers whether they be a store, breeder, shelter or rescue.

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