Under the strong leadership of Rep. Patterson, the bill would create a civil penalty for pet stores selling puppies and kittens from puppy mills.
April 28, 2021
AUSTIN, Texas -- Today, the Texas House passed HB 1818, which would help stop the pipeline of puppy mill animals to retail pet stores in Texas. A top legislative priority for the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN), HB 1818 would require pet stores to source animals from local animal control agencies, animal shelters, and rescue organizations.
"Currently, we see hundreds of Texans every year purchase animals who are sick, make their families sick, and cost them thousands of dollars in vet bills or balloon payments to retail pet stores," said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. "HB 1818 would protect consumers from unknowingly purchasing sick and ill-bred puppies and kittens, while also cracking down on cruel puppy mill practices."
The majority of retail pet stores source their animals from out of state and many from puppy mill breeders. Currently, pet stores have no specific regulatory requirements beyond local ordinances, and often do not provide the health or vaccination history of an animal to its new owner. However, municipal shelters and nonprofit rescues must disclose this information per state law, providing the new owner with a more transparent process and overall healthier animal.
The bill would not affect licensed, legitimate breeders, as only 4% sell their animals through retail pet stores. It would also not affect counties with a population of less than 200,000 as smaller communities may not have the number of animals needed to supply retail pet stores.
"In closing, we want to extend a huge thank you to Representative Patterson for his hard work on HB 1818 and his dedication to Texas animals."