There’s a reason for NJ animal enthusiasts to be excited! On February 9, 2015, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed the Pet Purchase Protection Act to help ensure humane treatment of the animals and allow consumers to have a better understanding of where their new pet originates.
While I am not someone to support purchasing a pet from a pet store, I am excited because this act requires more of NJ pet stores than ever before. It puts animal care and consumer rights in the forefront instead of the dollar.
The puppy mill and pet brokerage industries have long been known for the typically deplorable conditions in which they keep their breeder animals and babies. Their main concern is the profit they can yield from selling their “goods” rather than the safety, cleanliness, and welfare of the animals.
Never before have NJ pet stores been required to provide proof of where their animals come from or needed to be responsible for it. That’s all about to change.
As of June 1, 2015, some of the new benefits under the new Act include NJ pet stores:
- Cannot purchase pets from commercial breeders or brokers with severe Animal Welfare Act violations
- Cannot purchase pets from breeders or brokers who are unlicensed
- Must display the US Department of Agriculture inspection reports for the prior 2 years for the breeders and brokers who sold cats or dogs to the shop
- Must display the names and addresses of breeders for each cat or dog for sale
- Face a $500 fine per violation
This means that NJ pet stores will have to more accountable! They can no longer stick their heads in the sand and hide behind “brokerage” lingo. They can no longer purchase animals from breeders or brokers who have severe Animal Welfare Act violations! They must show consumers proper documents or pay the fines.
Ultimately, holding the pet stores more accountable will force the middle man to take responsibility for their part in the lives of the animals they breed and sell.
Although I still feel we have a long way to go, this Act is a step in the right direction and was certainly a needed change for New Jersey.