We joined coalition partners in July for a Retail Pet Sale Ban Lobby Day, in support of S. 175 and H. 800, An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops, sponsored by State Senator Patrick O’Connor and State Representative Natalie Higgins.
These bills prohibit the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet shops unless the animals come from shelters or rescue organizations. Typically, pet shops obtain animals from substandard breeding facilities, which results in consumers unknowingly purchasing sick or genetically-compromised pets. Massachusetts state records consistently document such complaints from across the Commonwealth. State and federal records have also demonstrated that puppies from the worst “puppy mills” in the country have been sold to Massachusetts consumers via pet shops. These bills thus protect both animals and consumers, while having no impact on responsible breeders. Further, it does not prohibit a pet shop from partnering with a shelter or rescues to provide animals in their store.
Following the lobby day, we testified in front of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure in favor of S. 175 and H. 800. If passed, Massachusetts will join California, Maryland and more than 310 municipalities nationwide—including Boston, Cambridge, and Stoneham—in passing laws that prohibit the sale of commercially-raised dogs and cats in pet stores.
During this hearing we also testified in favor of S. 169, An Act prohibiting inhumane feline declawing, sponsored by State Senator Mark Montigny. This bill prohibits the declawing, onychectomy, or tendonectomy of a cat. The standard, elective, declawing procedure calls for the removal of the claw and the first bone of the toe. The operation is usually performed on the front feet, and is in fact an amputation comparable to the removal of human fingertips at the first knuckle. If this bill is signed into law, Massachusetts will join New York, parts of Canada, and most of Europe in banning this cruel surgery.
If you are interested in prohibit the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet shops, and prohibiting inhumane feline declawing, then please contact your state senator and state representative and urge them to support these bills. Learn who represents you and how to contact them at wheredoivotema.com. To learn more about these bills and other issues, visit www.mspca.org/currentlegislation.