PRINTER'S NO. 186
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
44
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY KILLION, DINNIMAN, ALLOWAY, ARGALL, BARTOLOTTA,
BOSCOLA, BREWSTER, COLLETT, COSTA, FARNESE, FONTANA, KEARNEY,
LANGERHOLC, LAUGHLIN, LEACH, MUTH, PHILLIPS-HILL, SABATINA,
SANTARSIERO, SCAVELLO, STEFANO, STREET, TARTAGLIONE, K. WARD,
WHITE, YAW AND YUDICHAK, FEBRUARY 5, 2019
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, FEBRUARY 5, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, providing for transfer and sale of
animals.
This act may referred to as Victoria's Law.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) A significant number of puppies, kittens and rabbits
sold at pet stores come from large-scale, commercial breeding
facilities, puppy mills, kitten mills and rabbit mills, where
the health and welfare of the animals are not adequately
addressed.
(2) According to The Humane Society of the United
States, it is estimated that 10,000 puppy mills produce more
than 2,400,000 puppies each year in the United States and
that most pet store dogs, cats and rabbits come from puppy
mills, kitten mills and rabbit mills.
(3) The documented abuses endemic to puppy mills, kitten
mills and rabbit mills include overbreeding, inbreeding,
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minimal to nonexistent veterinary care, lack of adequate and
nutritious food and water, shelter, lack of socialization,
lack of adequate space and lack of adequate exercise.
(4) The inhumane conditions in puppy mills, kitten mills
and rabbit mills lead to health and behavioral issues in the
animals bred in those facilities, and many consumers are
unaware of these conditions and issues when they purchase
animals from pet stores, due to both a lack of education on
the subject matter and misleading tactics of some pet stores.
(5) These health and behavioral issues, which may not
present themselves until some time after the purchase of the
animals, can impose exorbitant financial and emotional costs
on consumers.
(6) Current Federal and State regulations do not
properly address the sale in pet stores of dogs, cats and
rabbits bred at puppy mills, kitten mills and rabbit mills.
(7) Restricting the retail sale of puppies and kittens
to only those that are sourced from animal shelters or rescue
organizations will likely reduce the demand for puppies and
kittens bred in puppy mills and kitten mills and will likely
increase demand for animals from animal shelters or rescue
organizations.
(8) Due in large part to pet overpopulation, thousands
of dogs, cats and rabbits are euthanized annually in animal
shelters across this Commonwealth.
(9) Restricting the retail sale of puppies, kittens and
rabbits to only those that are sourced from animal shelters
or rescue organizations will likely reduce pet overpopulation
and the burden placed on agencies and local taxpayers.
(10) Across the United States, thousands of independent
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pet stores and large chains operate in collaboration with
local animal shelters and rescue organizations to offer space
and support for showcasing adoptable homeless pets on their
premises utilizing a business model focused on the sale of
pet services and supplies rather than the sale of
commercially bred dogs, cats or rabbits.
(11) The provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 55 Subch. C will
not impact a consumer's ability to obtain a dog, cat or
rabbit of the consumer's choice directly from a breed-
specific rescue organization or animal shelter or from a
breeder where the consumer can see directly the conditions in
which the dogs, cats or rabbits are bred.
(12) It is in the best interests of the Commonwealth to
adopt reasonable regulations to reduce costs to the
Commonwealth and its residents, protect the residents of the
Commonwealth who may purchase dogs, cats or rabbits from a
pet store or other business establishment, help prevent
inhumane breeding conditions, promote community awareness of
animal welfare and foster a more humane environment in this
Commonwealth.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 55 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER C
TRANSFER AND SALE OF ANIMALS
Sec.
5571. Definitions.
5572. Advertising information.
5573. Sales by pet shop-kennels.
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§ 5571. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Animal care facility." An animal control center or animal
shelter, maintained by or under contract with a State, county or
municipality, the mission or practice of which is to protect the
welfare of animals and the placement of animals in permanent
homes or animal rescue organizations.
"Animal control officer." As defined in section 102 of the
Dog Law.
"Animal rescue organization." A not-for-profit organization
that has tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. §
501(c)(3)), the primary mission or practice of which is the
rescue of animals and the placement of those animals in
permanent homes. The term does not include the following:
(1) An entity that is a breeder or broker.
(2) An entity that is affiliated with or housed on the
premises of a breeder or broker.
(3) An entity that obtains dogs from a breeder or broker
in exchange for payment or compensation or resells dogs
obtained from a breeder or broker and provides payment or
compensation to the breeder or broker.
"Breeder." A person that maintains dogs, cats or rabbits for
the purpose of breeding and selling their offspring.
"Broker." A person that transfers dogs, cats or rabbits for
resale by another person.
"Cat." As defined in section 102 of the Dog Law.
"Dog." As defined in section 102 of the Dog Law.
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"Dog Law." The act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225),
known as the Dog Law.
"Humane society police officer." As defined in section 102
of the Dog Law.
"Offer for sale." To sell, offer for sale or adoption,
barter, auction, give away or otherwise transfer a dog, cat or
rabbit.
"Pet shop-kennel." A kennel or person that acquires and
sells dogs, cats or rabbits for the purpose of resale, whether
as owner, agent or consignee, and sells or offers to sell the
dogs, cats or rabbits on a retail basis.
"Police officer." As defined in section 102 of the Dog Law.
"State dog warden." As defined in section 102 of the Dog
Law.
§ 5572. Advertising information.
(a) Requirement.--An individual required to possess a
Federal, State or local license shall prominently include that
individual's name and address as registered with the licensing
agency and each applicable Federal, State or local license
number in the text of an advertisement offer for the sale of a
dog through a newspaper, posting, the mail, an Internet website
or another form of media.
(b) Penalty.--An individual who violates subsection (a)
shall be subject to a civil penalty of $100 for each
advertisement offer.
§ 5573. Sales by pet shop-kennels.
(a) Offense defined.--No pet shop-kennel may offer for sale
a live dog, cat or rabbit unless the dog, cat or rabbit was
obtained from or displayed in cooperation with:
(1) an animal care facility; or
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(2) an animal rescue organization.
(b) Recordkeeping and posting.--
(1) A pet shop-kennel shall maintain records sufficient
to document the source of each dog, cat or rabbit the pet
shop-kennel acquires, for at least two years following the
date of acquisition.
(2) A pet shop-kennel shall post, in a conspicuous
location on the cage or enclosure of each animal, a
notification listing the name of the animal care facility or
animal rescue organization from which a dog, cat or rabbit
was obtained.
(3) Records under paragraph (1) shall be:
(i) Made available immediately upon request to a
humane society police officer, police officer, State dog
warden, employee of the Department of Agriculture or
animal control officer.
(ii) Submitted annually to the Department of
Agriculture.
(c) Penalties.--Notwithstanding sections 901 and 903 of the
Dog Law, a pet shop-kennel operator that violates this section
shall be subject to a civil penalty of $500. Each animal offered
for sale in violation of this section shall constitute a
separate violation.
(d) Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be
construed to prevent a political subdivision from adopting and
enforcing ordinances or regulations consistent with this
section.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 180 days.
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