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PNS Daily Newscast - November 12, 2018 


The election recount spotlight is on Florida, with three hotly contested races. Also on the Monday rundown: Can women sustain their record election gains? And a bill in Congress would help fund preservation of historic sites.

Daily Newscasts

New MD Animal-Rights Law to Curb "Puppy-Mill" Sales

Maryland joins California and more than 250 localities across the nation with laws to stop the sale of dogs and cats from puppy-mill breeders in pet stores. (Pixabay)
Maryland joins California and more than 250 localities across the nation with laws to stop the sale of dogs and cats from puppy-mill breeders in pet stores. (Pixabay)
April 25, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Despite pushback from some pet-store owners, Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a bill banning retail pet stores from selling dogs and cats born in "puppy mills."

Just before signing House Bill 1662, the governor cradled two puppies outside the Capitol, signaling his strong support for the new law and encouraging onlookers to consider adopting pets in need of a home. It appears Hogan is considering adopting a dog to replace his shih tzu that died last year.

Maryland is the second state, following California, to ban the sale of commercially bred pets in retail stores. Emily Hovermale, Maryland state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said some pet stores use irresponsible breeders that ship pets into other states from the Midwest.

"Responsible breeders don't sell to pet stores," she said. "This bill doesn't impact responsible breeders that sell directly to consumers, as many breeders in the state do."

When the new law goes into effect, Maryland pet stores will only be able to get puppies and kittens from licensed breeders, animal-control or welfare organizations. Maryland already had strict restrictions on pet stores, and Hovermale said only about seven stores still are fighting the idea of following a more humane business model.

"And we're here to help them do so," she said. "We've extended that offer, and the Legislature opted, rightfully so, to have the legislation go into effect in January 2020, in order to give the stores the opportunity to transition their business model."

About 250 cities and counties across the nation, including Montgomery County, have enacted similar laws, she said.

The text of HB 1662 is online at mgaleg.maryland.gov.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - MD