December 7, 2022
HB 870 requires retail pet stores to source animals from shelters and rescues.
AUSTIN – On December 2, Representative Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) filed HB 870, which like its 2021 predecessor HB 1818, will help put an end to cruel puppy mill practices and protect both pets and consumers by requiring that only healthy animals sourced from shelters and rescues be sold in retail pet stores. Currently, many retail pet stores source their puppies and kittens from unscrupulous, out-of-state puppy mills.
“We are excited to work with Representative Patterson again on this issue. His early filing of the bill shows his dedication to halting the puppy mill pipeline into Texas and alleviating the burden on shelters of having an overwhelming number of healthy, adoptable pets in need of loving homes,” said Stacy Sutton Kerby, Director of Government Relations at THLN. “Representative Patterson, who also authored the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act that went into effect in January, has proven to be a true animal welfare champion time and again.”
“Out-of-state puppy mills store puppies in poor conditions, take them away from their moms too soon, and truck them hundreds or thousands of miles across the country to be sold in retail pet stores,” said Representative Patterson. “There’s a reason why only one of the top 25 retailers still sells dogs from these conditions. I’m proud to once again file HB 870 to provide the necessary restrictions to protect pets and their owners.”
This year alone, Dallas, Houston, and New Braunfels passed ordinances like HB 870, demonstrating the need and support for a statewide law. If passed, HB 870 would not preempt local ordinances. Instead, the law brings consistency across Texas’ largest counties – those with a population of 200,000 or more – primarily suburban and urban areas.
“While 14 cities across Texas have passed retail pet store ordinances, millions of Texans are still vulnerable to the deceptive business practices used to sell puppies sourced from inhumane puppy mills. All Texans deserve to be protected from buying sick, defective puppies,” said Kerby.
During the 87th legislative session in 2021, the bill received huge bipartisan support but ultimately couldn’t get past the finish line before the session ended.
“There is widespread support and momentum for this policy. HB 870 and its predecessor are great examples of how animal protection is a bipartisan issue. Texans do not endorse puppy mill cruelty and halting the puppy mill pipeline into our state reflects these values,” concluded Kerby.
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