State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R- Fairfield) and State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield) spoke out on a subject that has broken the hearts of too many Connecticut families.
Last week, the legislature’s Environment Committee held a public hearing where people came from all corners of the state to defend animal rights and promote good business standards through HB 5409: An Act Concerning Pet Shops And Consumer Reimbursement For Certain Veterinary Expenses And Prohibiting Pet Shops From Selling Dogs And Cats Obtained From Substandard Domestic Animal Mills.
State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney testified in support of the bill. He said, “The inhumane treatment of animals raised and bred to be sold as pets has become far too common place. Passage of this legislation would be a significant step towards putting puppy mills out of business and protecting pet owners from unknowingly purchasing animals with health issues.”
“This bill is simply about accountability, basic human compassion for animals, and frankly, consumer protection,” said Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) who also spoke at the hearing. “When someone purchases a dog or cat, they are looking to make a worthwhile addition to their family, home and life. Too often you hear of the horror stories of the animal becoming ill from a genetic defect, which can lead to costly medical bills.”
If passed, this legislation would give the Commissioner of Agriculture the ability to fine a kennel, pet shop, grooming facility or training facility for not maintaining acceptable sanitary and humane conditions, which can result in animals contracting infections or communicable diseases. The language outlines exactly what those acceptable cleanliness standards are.
“In Connecticut, we have many reputable breeders, rescues and shelters that offer healthy dogs and cats for sale or adoption. There is no excuse for the disparity between these stores and breeders. It’s unfortunate that we have to legislate humane treatment, but the sad truth is, there are people who view animals as only a source of profit,” said Rep. Kupchick.
Rep. Kupchick has volunteered for many years with local animal rescue groups that take in animals that are abandoned or abused. Many times the dogs that are rescued are pure breeds purchased from pet stores that used puppy mills. Puppy mills are well known for their inhumane treatment and inter breeding of animals for the sole purpose of turning a maximum profit.
Often times, the puppies produced in these mills are genetically compromised and suffer lifelong health problems or even death. These dogs spend their entire lives in small cages, many times unable to stand up or turn around until they are no longer useful and released to shelters, rescues or sometimes put down.
Puppy mills are not only inhumane to animals, but they cause unnecessary emotional pain to those people who eventually purchase these puppies. These animals have become ill, suffer life long diseases that cost their owners thousands of dollars.
Sen. McKinney and Rep. Kupchick agree there is nothing worse than a family bringing home a new puppy and having it suffer and potentially die after a few months, especially when all that family wanted was to give the animal a loving home.