(May 7, 2014) – A bill to help crack down on puppy mills and the sale of puppies from commercial breeders in pet stores unanimously passed both the State Senate and House of Representatives. SB 445, championed by Fairfield Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132, will now go to Gov. Dannel Malloy for his signature. Annie Hornish, the Connecticut state director for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:
"This legislation is a step in the right direction and will help crack down on the worst of the offenders, namely those breeders caught with severe violations of welfare standards. It will also increase fines for the many pet stores in the state that routinely deal with unlicensed breeders to circumvent scrutiny."
SB 445 requires pet shop operators to acquire puppies only from breeders who are licensed and inspected by the USDA and who have not been found to have violated certain provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act within two years.The bill also improves restitution measures for pet store customers who unwittingly purchase a dog or cat later deemed to have been sick at the time of purchase.Under SB 445, the Commissioner of Agriculture is required to establish standards of care for Connecticut-based commercial dog and cat breeders.