ANNOUNCEMENT: This afternoon lawmakers and The Humane Society of the United States announced they will be making major changes to Colorado’s HB20-1084 The Humane Pet Act, a bill that was intended to address the puppy mill crisis. We feel these changes would have a negative impact on our work moving forward, and could even increase dog and cat sales from pet stores. Because of this, Harley’s Dream is officially withdrawing support from the bill as it would be written with the proposed amendments. We are very disappointed that the bill has deviated so far from its original intent.
Here are the changes to the bill:
1) Various proposed humane housing and breeding requirements would be dropped.
2.) Pet stores can still source from puppy mills in all states, but those facilities would need to meet all of PACFA’s requirements, which are only slightly higher than USDA standards. ***We feel this is highly unenforceable as breeders would likely be allowed to submit affidavits stating they are in compliance rather than be inspected. It would also have a concerning fiscal impact on the state as trying to monitor and enforce it would be intricate and time-consuming, especially across state lines. And sadly, it would do nothing to end puppy mills.
3) In pet stores, each dog and cat for sale would be required to have a placard on their cage stating the name, city, state, and USDA license number of each breeder. ***Although this sounds good on the surface, we believe it is a regulation to make consumers “feel good” about the pet they are purchasing. This exact information is already available to the public, but there is NO public access into the USDA’s breeder information. In addition, the placards on cages could consequently increase pet sales by deceiving the public into believing they are being sourced from humane breeders.
In the end, this bill with the newly proposed amendments would do little if anything to curb puppy mills while simultaneously legitimizing the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.
Many people may say these are incremental changes. The problem with incremental changes at the state level is that they will prevent a more robust bill from being introduced in future legislative sessions, and lawmakers will be reluctant to make changes to the current bill. It would be a done deal, and sadly this is not a deal we can endorse.
From here, regardless of what happens with this bill, it will be more important than ever to help get pet store ordinances passed on a local level across Colorado and the nation. Will you pledge to help in YOUR city?
Stakeholders may have been consulted on these proposed amendments, but it’s those who have no voice who we represent – the dogs in the puppy mills, and our mission is to end those puppy mills. Harley lived his life with the utmost integrity and Harley’s Dream will always continue to follow this principle.