Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-499

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING A PET LEMON LAW AND THE RELEASE OF RABIES VACCINATION RECORDS TO ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS.

Vote Date:

3/20/2009

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/9/2009

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Sen, Meyer

Rep. Cafero

REASONS FOR BILL:

To deter the sale of unhealthy dogs and cats by pet shops and commercial kennels and to authorize animal control officers to obtain rabies vaccination record from veterinarians under certain conditions.

Substitute language: Changes the period from 60 days to 6 months, and reduces the penalty from $2,000 to $500.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Department of Agriculture testimony states that there is currently a “pet lemon law” which they enforce. The current law addresses animals sold from pet stores and provides pet owners reimbursement of medical cost up to $200. The Department of Agriculture would be open to discussing an increase in the amount of medical reimbursement as proposed.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Debora Bresch, ASPCA supports the bill as it would improve the welfare of dogs sold in pet stores. The ASPCA also feels pet shops should be required to sell dogs and cats “only from breeders licensed with the USDA and any applicable state entity.” They also feel pet shops should be required to provide the origin of the cat or dog and any one else who has kenneled the animal for more than 24 hours.

Steven Zerilli, President, United Pet Supply, Inc. supports the intent of this bill. He states professional pet store owners should continue to support any regulations that would assure the sale of healthy animals.

Kerry Bartoletti, Co-Founder, Friends of Feral Cats supports this bill as it protects the consumer as well as the welfare of animals sold in pet stores. She believes pet stores should be required to provide consumers with information regarding the origin of the animals.

Laura Reid, Owner & President of Fish Mart, Inc. supports the bill as she the current pet lemon law only applies to pet stores and under the new law it would require private breeders and kennels to abide by those same laws.

Marcia Goodman, Cromwell supports the bill as she feels it is important the consumer has all information available to them regarding the source and condition of the animal to be purchased.

Karen Laski, Manchester supports this bill.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Peter Noel, President, Gentle Jungle Inc., opposes this bill as he feels congenital or hereditary conditions are of no fault of the seller but are a fault of nature. He feels legislation will not solve those health problems.

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) opposes this bill as there is already current legislation that addresses these issues. The PIJAC feels the amount of complaints addressed by the Department of Agriculture is from a small minority of customers. They feel that increasing the liability to the pet store owner is not the answer. They believe the bill will impose unsustainable financial burdens on the pet store owners.

Peggy Wampold, Tolland does not support this bill as she feels hereditary or congenital illnesses can not be guaranteed as they often do not manifest until later in life.

Reported by: Kathleen Salvio

Date: 3/25/09