Kupchick’s puppy mill task force begins

A bi-partisan task force to examine the sale of cats and dogs sold in Connecticut pet shops will held its first meeting at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Sept. 25. The task force was established as a result of Amendment #8543 to HB 5027, which passed in the final days of Connecticut’s legislative session.

Co-chair of the task force, state Rep. Brenda Kupchick sponsored the amendment, which called for the creation of a task force to include experts to examine the inhumane treatment of dogs and cats in breeding facilities that sell to Connecticut pet shops.

A report will be submitted to the Environment Committee for the 2014 Legislative for a public hearing to decide whether pet shops should be required to sell only dogs and cats humanely-sourced from shelters and rescue organizations. Currently, Connecticut has 130 pet stores, 18 of which sell puppies and kittens.

“With the creation of this task force I’m hopeful all pets Connecticut residents include in their families come from humane sources,” Kupchick said.

Kupchick proposed an amendment to H.B. 5027 that garnered wide bipartisan support and would have required that as of Jan. 1, 2016, only dogs and cats obtained from public shelters or incorporated rescues be sold in the state’s pet shops.

The bill was amended to create the task force that will examine the issue of “puppy mills” and provide a detailed report to the Environment Committee for the 2014 legislative session. Both measures had full support of the Connecticut Humane Society, ASPCA and Connecticut Votes for Animals.

Kupchick, co-chairman of the task force, supports the sale and adoption of dogs and cats from local breeders or local shelters and rescues where consumers have accountability.

State Sen. Bob Duff will co-chair the task force with Kupchick. Appointed members include Deb Bresch, senior state director ASPCA; Dr. Arnold Goldman, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association; state Sen. John McKinney; Amy Harrell, Connecticut Votes for Animals; Laurie Ann Maulucci, local breeder; state Rep. Auden Grogins, (D-129); and Ray Conners, a representative of the PIJAC, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the Department of Agriculture.

For more information or the meeting schedule, visit cga.ct.gov/ENV or cthousegop.com/brenda-kupchick.

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