Help Protect Pets in Maryland

Maryland legislators are considering a bill that would further restrict your ability to get a pet. This comes after the state generally banned pet stores from selling puppies and kittens unless they come from a shelter or rescue.

Adopting from a shelter is great; we have a campaign to raise funds for shelters. But there’s also nothing wrong with getting a puppy from a reputable, regulated business.

While well intentioned, these policies don’t actually protect animals. They are supposedly designed to fight “puppy mills,” or breeders that have poor conditions. But they don’t actually target bad breeders. They merely ban people from getting dogs from breeders across the country generally, including breeders who take good care of their animals. A ban also denies families a reasonable way to get a breed of dog that they want.

That’s not fair to animals or Marylanders.

Worse, it creates a black market for animal trafficking. The CDC reports it is incredibly easy to bring in purebred dogs, claim they are “personal” animals, and then sell them for a profit. The USDA reports that over 1,000,000 dogs are imported every year into the US. Less than 1 percent fall under agency oversight. There’s no oversight, and they can easily come from foreign puppy mills. This is called “retail rescue.” The CDC recently seized puppies at JFK Airport as a part of this black market.

Sign the petition below if you want Maryland to keep pets safe and legal.