Humane Society speaks out against newly signed 'Puppy Mill Bill'

NOW: Humane Society speaks out against newly signed ’Puppy Mill Bill’

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Governor Eric Holcomb has signed a controversial bill stopping local bans on retail puppy sales.

Supporters of House Bill 1412, also called canine standard of care, say it’s intended to eliminate puppy mills, but the Humane Society of the United States strongly opposes it, saying it could do the opposite.

On one hand the bill creates regulations for commercial dog breeders and pet stores, but on the other it overturns 21 local ordinances, including in St. Joseph County, that prohibit the sale of dogs at retail pet stores.

The Humane Society says this bill could give cover to puppy mills, disguised as legitimate businesses, and they would now be able to open their doors anywhere across the Hoosier state.

It does require pet stores, animal care facilities, and rescues to register with the Board of Animal Health.

But, with local shelters already overpopulated, the Humane Society fears this will make the issue worse and leave the burden of inspecting these breeders on local governments.

“So, it really allows pet stores to operate business as usual. There’s some additional standards from this bill that are set to be enforced by the state Board of Animal Health, but it’s been noted before this bill has no funding,” said Samantha Chapman, the Indiana State Director for the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society encourages people to adopt, not shop.

“If people want to help their local shelters be able to continue to manage the overflow of pets coming in…We really encourage people to go to their local shelters and rescues and adopt, to foster, to donate, volunteer, and to support our animal shelters. That is something that can continue despite the passage of House Bill 1412,” added Chapman.

The bill takes effect this July.

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