The IL Senate has passed a bill that is supposed to protect consumers with regard to pets sold in pet stores:
In Illinois, the legislation requires pet shops to post information on or near the cages of dogs and cats that includes: the name and address of each animal’s breeder; a record of all veterinary conditions and treatments; and any known information regarding congenital or hereditary defects of the animals’ parents.
Is this really going to help protect consumers? Let me fill out the information for one of the 47 puppies I’m selling to a broker this afternoon:
Name and Address: Mary Bad-Breeder, PuppySunshineville, USA
Veterinary conditions and treatments: Veterinary health certificate issued today.
(That is to say, my Vet gave this puppy a health certificate declaring he showed no signs of communicable disease and was too young for a Rabies shot at the age of 5 weeks when I prematurely removed him from the dam to turn over to the broker. The puppy may have had some other condition before that but I won’t be listing that here because I didn’t want to pay the Vet to come out and look at him. Therefore, no record.)
Known info on hereditary defects of parents: N/A
(That is, the parents may be defect free or may have every defect listed in the vet school textbooks – I don’t know because I don’t pay for those kinds of screenings.)
So the consumer sees a puppy from Mary Bad-Breeder who was issued a health certificate by a Vet a few weeks ago (which probably misleads the buyer into believing the puppy is therefore healthy) and the parents have no known congenital defects. Sounds like a winner!
Again, we don’t need new legislation for pet breeding. We have laws already on the books and the framework in place to enforce those laws. What we need is to fill in that framework with solid material and get the job done. Maybe, after we’ve been doing a good job at it for awhile, we might find a need for legislative changes. But how can we possibly know that now, when we’re failing to even pretend to have a handle on licensed pet breeders in this country?