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Proposal in Harrisburg takes aim at 'puppy mills'

| Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 1:21 p.m.
Three surviving puppies, photographed in 2016, were found abandoned in Uniontown.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Three surviving puppies, photographed in 2016, were found abandoned in Uniontown.

Two Western Pennsylvania state lawmakers are proposing legislation to try to prevent pet stores from selling animals from commercial breeding facilities known as “puppy mills.”

The proposal would limit pet stores to selling dogs, cats and rabbits only from shelters and rescues, according to memos for twin bills introduced in the state House and Senate.

“It is well documented that ‘puppy mills,' inhumane commercial dog-breeding facilities, frequently supply pet stores with puppies,” according to the proposal. “Consumers often spend thousands of dollars caring for sick puppies from pet stores, in some cases only to suffer the heartbreak of their new pet dying. With this legislation, pet stores will partner with shelters and rescues to promote adoption and decrease the demand for the puppies raised in puppy mills.”

State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Jefferson Hills, and Rep. Jason Ortitay, R-Bridgeville, each introduced the proposal.

Legislation also would remove an exemption in state law that lets licensed kennels sell dogs at public places in the state, according to the proposal. And it would require licensed kennels to include their license number in advertisements, which the sponsors say would help potential buyers differentiate between licensed and unlicensed kennels.

The Humane Society, which included 12 Pennsylvania kennels on its “ Horrible Hundred ” list of puppy mills in 2017, is backing the proposals, according to PennLive .

Just one state — California — has passed a similar law, but more than 250 localities in the country have approved similar protections, according to the proposal.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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