Rally supports bill requiring pet stores to get shelter, rescue animals

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Animal welfare advocates took to the Capitol steps on Monday to push for legislation that would change the way Pennsylvania pet stores operate.

First, there was Libre paving the way for mistreated animals in the state. Now, Victoria is making changes, starting with Pennsylvania Retail Sales Bill, also known as Victoria’s Law. Victoria was a dog that was produced in a state puppy mill and later died due to a genetic condition.

“That bill would do two things. First, it would ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in Pennsylvania pet stores unless they come from our shelters or rescues,” said Kristen Tullo, the Pennsylvania state director of Humane Society of United States.

Second, Senate Bill 44 would require a breeder to advertise their license number on any form of advertisement including the internet.

“We believe that this is one step to crack down on the market that puppy mills target,” Tullo said. 

Victoria’s Law does not affect those responsible breeders that do not sell their pets to pet stores. The legislation would adopt a similar model that is currently being used at Zoomania in Colonial Park Mall near Harrisburg. 

“The animals are transferred out of the shelter to Zoomania and then Zoomania adopts the animals out directly from here,” said Amy Kaunas, executive director of Humane Society of Harrisburg. 

Pennsylvania was once ranked 36th for animal cruelty laws in the nation. The state has now jumped to the top ten.

“There is still more work to do in the top 10. We’ll keep climbing our way to the top and better protect our animals,” Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) said.

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