A task force created to examine the sale of cats and dogs in Connecticut pet stores has issued its recommendations to curb the sale of animals that come from puppy mills.
The eleven-member group of state legislators and representatives from the pet store industry, rescue organizations and a local breeder and veterinarian have been meeting since last September. The recommendations adopted on Friday include establishing potential criminal penalties for the violation of current pet shop statutes and regulations, requiring pet shops to only purchase from breeders licensed by the USDA, and to avoid breeders that have received repeat violations.
The panel also would like to see the legislature increase fines for violating current statutes to improve compliance. Members also suggest new pets stops should only sell cats and dogs through humane sourcing, or coming from rescue organizations or shelters.
Task force co-chair State Senator Bob Duff said the recommendations are meant to help Connecticut come up with better laws to protect animals. Now the report will be forwarded to the legislature's Environment Committee. Duff said, "Whether people are happy or unhappy with some of these recommendations, it's still a long way from becoming the law of the state of Connecticut."
One recommendation that failed to be adopted would have required pet stores owners to visit the breeders that supply cats and dogs every two years. Some task force members felt that would be a burden on small business owners, and compliance would be hard to enforce. There are 130 pet stores in Connecticut, but only 16 sell cats and dogs.
Watch CT-N's footage of the task force meeting below: