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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 17, 2023 10:48 AM
From: Representative Jeanne McNeill
To: All House members
Subject: Victoria's Law
It is well-documented that puppy mills are inhumane commercial dog breeding facilities, yet they frequently supply pet stores with puppies.  The stores that sell these puppies operate with an outdated and socially unacceptable business model, making them outliers in their own industry because most pet stores do not sell puppies.  Once the pet store puppies are sold, consumers often spend thousands of dollars caring for sick puppies.  In some cases, they even suffer the heartbreak of their new pet dying.  All the while, shelters and rescues are burdened with finding families for homeless pets, thousands of whom are euthanized each year in Pennsylvania only because they are not adopted.  

Victoria was a German Shepherd that was rescued from a Pennsylvania puppy mill after 10 years of breeding.  By the time she was rescued, she was paralyzed as a result of a genetic, neurological disorder called Degenerative Myelopathy, a disease she passed down to the estimated 150-200 puppies she produced while at a puppy mill. 


To honor Victoria and stop the terrible process currently in place, I plan to introduce legislation, known as Victoria’s Law, which would drive the Pennsylvania pet market towards more humane sources like shelters, rescues, and responsible breeders; stop the sale of puppy mill dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores; protect consumers from misleading sales tactics; and require advertisers to include license numbers on their advertisements so that consumers have access to information on both responsible and unscrupulous breeders and so that enforcement officers can easily identify unlicensed breeders. 


By making these changes, more pet stores will partner with shelters and rescues to promote adoption and decrease the demand for the puppies produced at puppy mills.  Responsible breeders will benefit by their promotion and be able to continue to provide Pennsylvanians with healthy, socialized dogs.  Puppy-selling pet stores could thrive by converting to a more humane business model by partnering with, and receiving assistance from, organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States.   


More than 400 localities in the U.S., including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Wilkinsburg, Sharpsburg, Bellevue, and Allentown, as well as the states of California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, and New York, have passed similar laws.   


Please join me in supporting a statewide modernization of pet sales to create a more humane pet market.   

Introduced as HB846