Bill introduced in Washington legislature to stop pet stores from selling dogs, cats from animal mills

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A House bill introduced in the Washington Legislature that would prohibit new pet stores from selling dogs and kittens is having a public hearing Thursday.

Rep. Walen (D-Kirkland) introduced HB 1424, a consumer protection and animal welfare bill that intends to end the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline.

A majority of pet stores in Washington are already in compliance, but a few still sell puppies.

“Puppies are coming in from outside of our state and being sold at retail pet stores. The Consumer Protection and Business Committee has heard countless stories of Washingtonians who have unknowingly purchased a puppy mill puppy from a pet store only later to learn that the pet they have chosen has health problems due to the unhealthy conditions in which the puppy was born. We need to hold businesses accountable when they sell consumers a faulty product, which in this case is a puppy from a puppy mill. Consumers deserve to know under what conditions their pet was born,” said Representative Walen.

According to American Kennel Club, the bill that all dogs sold by Washington pet stores come from shelters, rescues or qualified breeders who meet the Washington state law regarding housing and other kennel standards and the 50-dog ownership limit.

The bill clarifies that a person who offers for sale, directly to the public, only animals they have bred and raised will not be considered a retail pet store.

“This bill allows for a significant step in the right direction for the sake of consumers and animals caught up in the puppy mill to pet store pipeline,” said Laura Henderson, Executive Director of Pasado’s Safe Haven.

The legislation is similar to laws enacted in other states.