Local ordinances to ban dog sales at pet stores eliminated under House bill
Local governments would be banned from preventing local pet stores from selling dogs under a bill approved by Republicans in a House committee Monday.
HB 1412, which would wipe out nearly two dozen local ordinances across the state, would impose new rules on pet stores and require them to register with the state.
Those stores could only accept dogs from breeders and brokers who meet a canine care certification program developed by Purdue University — with some exceptions. Exemptions under the bill include those who meet certain federal rules and so-called “hobby breeders,” which have fewer than 20 female dogs.
Lori Wilson is CEO of Uncle Bill’s Pet Centers. She said the measure provides safeguards statewide that will ensure animal safety. Under that system, Wilson said, local ordinances that prevent pet stores from selling dogs shouldn’t be allowed.
“Taking away a regulated business and pushing consumers to a black market makes no sense,” Wilson said.
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The bill directs the state Board of Animal Health (BOAH) to inspect dog breeders and pet stores to ensure they’re meeting the new guidelines. But it doesn’t require inspections. And Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control Director Amy-Jo Sites said there’s no money to ensure BOAH can do the work.
“This isn’t going to be enforceable and it’s going to fall back on local municipalities like myself,” Sites said.
GOP lawmakers indicated they would look at the funding issue next year.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story listed Lori Wilson's title as vice president. That was incorrect. She serves as CEO with her brother.