By Patch Editor Michael Dinan
A Connecticut legislative "Task Force Concerning the Sale of Cats and Dogs at CT Pet Shops from Inhumane Origins," co-chaired by State Senator Bob Duff (D, Darien, Norwalk) and Representative Brenda L.Kupchick (R, Fairfield and Southport) has recently convened to examine the origins of commercially-bred dogs in pet shops, and will produce a report with recommendations for modifying current pet shop laws.
The task force will hold a public hearing this Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom of the Fairfield Public Schools Central Office at 501 Kings Highway East in Fairfield.
A second hearing will be in the Legislative Office Building room 1D in Hartford at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Both hearings will follow typical Public Hearing procedures which are as follows:
- Speakers will sign up no earlier than one hour before the hearing outside of the room
- Sign-ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis
The first hour will be reserved for any legislators or chief elected officials who wish to testify. Speakers at the hearing will be limited to three minutes of spoken testimony, after which, the members of the Task Force will have the option to ask questions.
Written testimony will be accepted, preferably e-mailed no later than the day before the hearing to CTPS@cga.ct.gov. Testimony will be accepted at the time of speaker sign-ups, however if not submitting electronically, a speaker must bring fifteen copies for the Task Force.
According to a press release from the CT Alliance for Humane Pet Shops, whose goal is the passage of legislation requiring Connecticut pet shops to source their dogs and cats from shelters, pounds, and rescue organizations, instead of commercial breeders or puppy mills. Also, according to the Alliance press release, an estimated 95-99% of commercially-bred animals sold in pet shops today come from puppy mills. There are approximately 16 pet shops in Connecticut that sell commercially-bred puppies.
“Current USDA regulations governing the commercial breeders who supply our pet shops are inadequate to ensure that animals used for breeding are treated humanely,” said Amy Harrell, president of Connecticut Votes for Animals in the release. “Connecticut has many breeders specializing in particular dog breeds. These operations stand to benefit from this legislation, as do the many rescue organizations and non-profit shelters with loving dogs needing homes.”Membership List of "The Connecticut General Assembly Task Force Concerning the Sale of Cats and Dogs at CT Pet Shops from Inhumane Origins"
- Bob Duff (State Senator, Co-Chair)
- Brenda L.Kupchick (State Representative, Co-Chair)
- Laurie Maulucci (Local Breeder)
- Amy Harrell (CT Votes for Animals)
- Annie Hornish (Humane Society of the US)
- Auden Grogins (State Representative)
- Charles Sewell (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council)
- Dr. Arnold L. Goldman (CT Veterinary Med. Association)
- Debora M. Bresch (ASPCA)
- John McKinney (State Senator)
- Raymond Connors (Department of Agriculture)