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Enacting the Kansas Retail Pet Shop Act – Senate Bill 224

S. 224 introduced on March 12th, 2019

  • Bill Summary: The Petland Preemption Bill's purpose is to promote consumer protection. The reality: the bill is a trojan horse designed to strip localities of their ability to regulate pet store as communities see fit and allow Petland to evade responsibility for sourcing puppy mill dogs. S. 224, which has been peddled by Petland in numerous states under a different bill, is merely the embodiment of a business strategy crafted in response to the growing number of U.S. cities that have effectively outlawed retail pet shops in response to concerns that puppy mills are feeding their inventories.  

  • What This Bill Does: Petland - America's largest chain of puppy-selling stores that still sells commercially raised puppies – is pushing legislation that would interfere with local control of pet sales in Kansas under a front organization calling itself the Concerned Citizens for Pet Ownership. S. 224 is a disguised attempt of industry self-regulation, for which the requirements are weak, unenforceable and attempt to distract us from the bills true purpose; allow Petland to evade responsibility for sourcing sick, injured and abused puppies from puppy mills while stripping localities of their ability to regulate pet store sales, manage animal shelter overpopulation, and protect consumer health as they see fit.

  • Petland’s Dark History: Petland, Inc. is an international chain of pet stores with more than 70 locations in the U.S., including five Kansas stores. Petland’s history is riddled with lawsuits, scandals, and, most commonly, unhappy consumers saddled with sick puppies and high veterinary bills. In January 2018, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) linked a multistate, multidrug-resistant outbreak of Campylobacter that sickened 118 people across 18 states from puppies sold through Petland stores, including Kansas. Kansas localities are the first to bear the financial burden of Petland’s irresponsible selling, including animal shelters and rescues that struggle with an overpopulation issue. If Petland’s intent was to introduce a bill to ensure responsible self-regulation, local and consumer protection and eliminate the sale of sick puppies , it would have proposed meaningful legislation that included effective breeding standards, oversight and enforcement.

  • Please Oppose: S. 224 would provide consumers with a false sense of security by leading them to believe that animals being sold from a breeder to a pet store must adhere to strict animal welfare standards. S. 224 recognizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the standard of care and operation for companion animal breeders. The USDA’s own website states that a USDA license “is not a seal of approval” and admits it does a poor job of enforcing its own standards of care. In addition, the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) is unable to verify the citation history of licensed breeders and ensure the standards of “care” are being met by S. 224. Petland’s disguised preemption legislation is being pushed by deep-pocketed corporate special interests that are not friendly to Kansas. The bill will interfere and undermine local democracy and authority, allow Petland to evade responsibility for sourcing sick, injured and abused puppies, and negatively impact Kansas’ local control and commerce and the healthy and safety of consumers. Local government and local leaders should retain the right to meet their community’s unique views, values and needs, including the regulation of pet store sales. Our organization is strongly opposed to this measure and we ask that you say NO to SB 224.

TAKE ACTION

Please take a moment to call your representative; you can look up your legislator’s information and phone number here.

Use the script below if you’re not sure what to say.

“Hi, my name is ______ and I’m a constituent in your district. I’m calling you today to tell you that I oppose Senate Bill 224. Petland - America's largest chain of puppy-selling stores that still sells commercially raised puppies – is pushing SB 224 and it would interfere with local control of pet sales in Kansas under a front organization calling itself the Concerned Citizens for Pet Ownership. SB 224 will also allow Petland to evade responsibility for sourcing sick, injured and abused puppies from puppy mills while stripping localities of their ability to regulate pet store sales, manage animal shelter overpopulation, and protect consumer health as they see fit. As your constituent, please vote NO on SB 224. Thank you.”