H. 3762 -- Act Act relative to protecting puppies and kittens

This bill is a revision of S. 401/H. 1874 and H.1825.  It is now in House Ways and Means.  Read the text of H. 3762.

This is what the bill does:

Generally:

1.    Prohibits the sale of dogs and cats younger than 8 weeks of age.

2.    Sets forth a set of remedies for buyers who purchase an animal who has been declared by a veterinarian as “unfit for purchase.” A seller can be anyone selling animals to the public.

3.    Regulates dog breeders and specifies enforcement parameters.

Specifically:

In Section 1 (remedy provision):

  • Applies to animals younger than 1 year of age.
  • Sets forth what type of diseases or “defect” would (and what would not) be considered “unfit for purchase.”
  • Requires a veterinarian’s statement within 14 days of purchase if “unfitness for purchase” is based on an illness that existed in the animal on or before the sale and transfer or within one year if based on a hereditary or congenital condition that has a significant adverse effect on the health of the animals or if the breed, sex or health of the animal was misrepresented.
  • Allows remedies for purchase when an animal declared unfit for purchase that include:
    • returning the animal for a refund and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees in an amount not to exceed the purchase price of the animal.
    • exchanging the animal and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees in an amount not to exceed the purchase price of the animal.
    • keeping the animal and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees not to exceed 150% of the purchase price of the animal.
  • Sets forth a procedure if seller wishes to contest the demand under this section.
  • Prohibits the sale of dogs and cats younger than 8 weeks of age.
  • Does not apply to non-profit shelters/rescues or animal control.


In Sections 2 & 3 (regulation of breeders):

  • Requires the Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) to make rules and regulations for commercial breeder kennels and persons keeping at least 6 sexually intact female dogs between 1 and 8 years of age.
  • Allows for, but puts limits on, inspections (during business hours, only areas of residence used for kennel purposes or for keeping records) for kennels subject to regulations as breeders. Allows for a written citation for noncompliant issues (as opposed to only revocation or suspension) based on severity of the issue. Allows MDAR to inspect, in addition to municipal entities (that are already allowed to inspect in current law).