HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to ban the sale of commercially-raised dogs, cats and rabbits in Pennsylvania’s pet stores.
Senate Bill 44, also known as Victoria’s Law, would allow pet stores to sell the animals only when they come from shelters or rescues. The pets would still be available for sale directly from licensed and regulated breeders.
Heather Mitts, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer and resident of Delaware County, came to the Capitol and urged lawmakers to pass the bill.
“We’re proud to be part of SB44 and we’re proud to welcome and thank our long and growing list of supporters like Heather Mitts for their efforts and advocacy,” co-sponsor Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) said.
“The support of people like Heather Mitts is crucial as we raise public awareness about the cruelty of puppy mills,” Sen. Tom Killion (R-Chester/Delaware) said. “I thank her and the many others who have helped expose the suffering at puppy mills. Together, we will pass Victoria’s Law and shut down the puppy mill-to-pet shop pipeline in Pennsylvania.”
Supporters say Victoria’s Law is named for a German Shepherd forced to have more than 150 puppies during 10 years of breeding that left her paralyzed.
Supporters say people often spend thousands of dollars caring for sick puppies from pet stores, only in some cases to suffer the heartbreak of their new pet dying. At the same time, they say, shelters and rescues are burdened with finding families for homeless pets, thousands of whom are euthanized each year in Pennsylvania.