Senator Lesser Votes to Pass Bill Protecting Puppies and Kittens
BOSTON — On Thursday the State Senate voted to pass a bill improving conditions in the sale of dogs and cats, and ensuring that puppies and kittens are bred and sold in safe and healthy environments. The bill, S.1155, An Act relative to protecting puppies and kittens, applies safety and breeding standards to protect pets and pet owners. It prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens younger than eight weeks old, increasing the likelihood that they will grow to be healthy dogs and cats, and outlines a process for a veterinarian to declare an animal suffering from a significant adverse health condition “unfit for sale.”
“We all love our pets, and no one should bring home a brand-new puppy or kitten only to find out that they are chronically ill. It’s not fair to the pet owner but it is also unfair to the pet that was raised in unhealthy conditions,” said Senator Eric P. Lesser. “This bill, written in coordination with animal advocates, breeders and pet stores, will keep our pets safer and healthier and protect consumers.”
The bill also strengthens the state’s “Puppy Lemon Law” to give pet owners more options if they unknowingly purchase a sick pet. Remedies available now include the exchange of the animal or a refund and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees. The bill also sets forth a procedure for a seller to contest these demands.
“As an animal lover, pet owner and occasional small scale breeder, I am deeply aware of the emotional challenges for families when a pet falls ill, as well as the need to protect the health and safety of young animals,” said Senate Committee on Ways and Means Chair Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), lead sponsor of the bill. “This bill is the result of extensive discussion with both breeders and animal rights activists to protect puppies, kittens and pet owners across the Commonwealth.”