Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › Michigan: Pet Lemon Law S.B. 574

Michigan: Pet Lemon Law S.B. 574

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,155
Don't forget to contact these senators and thank them for voting for the Pet Lemon Law.

senrwarren@ senate.michigan.gov
sentrocca@ senate.michigan.gov
senbjohnson@ senate.michigan.gov
senrjones@ senate.michigan.gov

Thank you Senators Rocca, Jones, Johnson and Warren for voting yes on the “Pet Lemon Law” S.B. 574 (Sub 2) yesterday!

Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan applauds you for recognizing and addressing this awful problem we share in nearly all of our communities. Families are buying from shady breeders all over the state through the internet and may have no idea what kinds of operations they are truly dealing with. It is easy to be fooled by fancy websites. Our 37 pet stores are selling sick dogs every day that go unreported and half of them will not disclose breeder information.

Thank you for helping us give purchasers options so they won’t have to make tough decisions.

Pam Sordyl
<include your address so they know if you are in their district>
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,156

**All Senators unanimously Voted Yes for this bill!! Pavlov and Meekhof must have voted no regarding one of the Amendments**

YES Sen. Tory Rocca: Macomb County, (sentrocca@ senate.michigan.gov)
YES Sen. Rick Jones: Allegan, Barry, and Eaton Counties, (senrjones@ senate.michigan.gov)
N/A Sen. Joe Hune: Livingston, Shiawassee, and Southern Ingham Counties
YES Sen. Arlan Meekhof: Ottawa County, (senameekhof@ senate.michigan.gov)
YES Sen. Phil Pavlov: Lapeer and St. Clair Counties (senppavlov@ senate.michigan.gov)
YES Sen. Bert Johnson: Wayne County, (senbjohnson@ senate.michigan.gov)
YES Sen. Rebekah Warren: Washtenaw County, (senrwarren@ senate.michigan.gov)

The Committee on Regulatory Reform reported

Senate Bill No. 574, entitled

A bill to amend 1969 PA 287, entitled “An act to regulate pet shops, animal control shelters, and animal protection shelters; to establish uniform procedures and minimum requirements for adoption of dogs, cats, and ferrets; and to prescribe penalties and civil fines and to provide remedies,” by amending the title and section 1 (MCL 287.331), as amended by 1997 PA 7, and by adding section 5b.

With the recommendation that the substitute (S-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
The committee further recommends that the bill be given immediate effect.

Tory Rocca

To Report Out:
Yeas: Senators Rocca, Jones, Meekhof, Pavlov, Johnson and Warren
Nays: None

The bill and the substitute recommended by the committee were referred to the Committee of the Whole.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,170
S.B. 574 Will Not Impact Non-Profit Rescues

On September 27, 2011 the proposed Pet Lemon Law S.B. 574 Sub-2 passed the Regulatory Reform Committee. Next, the bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote, likely early next year.

There is no intent to have this bill apply to any rescue whether it is non-profit or not.

Puppy Mill Awareness, the Humane Society of the United States, Pet Fund Alliance and the Michigan Humane Society all support this bill as written (Sub-2). The first draft did not include clear exemptions for rescues and shelters, but we have insured that this bill (sub-2) will not impact rescues and shelters.

Below are four exemptions for non-profit rescues and shelters. Notice in the definition for “Animal Protection Shelter” it includes “other non-profit organizations” which means foster based rescues.

I do understand there are bad apples, but this bill will not be fixing that problem.

Page 2, e) “Animal control shelter” means a facility operated by a municipality for the impoundment and care of animals that are found in the streets or a large, animals that are otherwise held due to the violations of a municipal ordinance or state law, or animals that are surrendered to the animal control shelter.

Page 2, f) “Animal protection shelter” means a facility operated by a person, humane society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other non-profit organization for the care of homeless animals.

Page 2, g) “Breeder” means a person who breeds or raises dogs or cats for the sale to the public. Breeder does not include an animals control shelter or animal protection shelter.

Page 3, p) “Pet Dealer” means a person who for compensation buys or sells dogs or cats. Pet Dealer does not include animal control shelter or animal protection shelter.

Page 3, q) “Pet Shop” means a place where animals are sold or offered for sale, exchange or transfer.

, not including an Animal Control Shelter or an Animal Protection Shelter.

YEAR, not including an Animal Control Shelter or an Animal Protection Shelter.

The full text of S.B. 574 can be found here:
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,171
Meetup Members,

Our Effective Animal Advocacy Seminar in White Lake last night went well. I was pleased to meet another new set of long time animal advocates anxious to do more work!

It was the first time for me to present the Pet Lemon Law information including our Meetup's supporting details, such as sick dog cases collected and our Pet Store Disclosure Survey. I thought you might be interested in my presentation and I am hoping many of you will be on board and ready to lobby for his in the next session.

Please take some time to review the options, timeframes and arguments for this legislation. Remember, it will put a big spotlight on the industry!

Link to presentation:

Pam Sordyl
Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,236
Michigan legislation protects pets and consumers

Deb Monroe

Detroit Dogs Examiner


Consumers who make a major purchase are often bolstered by the offer of a lifetime guarantee, a warranty or other such promise that the product will not be defective or at the very least there will be a replacement clause. Consumers become unfortunate victims when they rely on warrantees. The sad state begins with the common misconception that a "bought dog" is somehow superior to a "rescued dog". The labels placed on an animal being "adoptable" or a "rescue" or "mixed" implies that they are somehow damaged goods, recycled or impure. This label could be unattractive to consumers with young family members or to a person that has never benefited from the ownership of a canine. They believe the pet store lie. In some way they feel they would be starting off this new pet connection with something that is damaged or dangerous.

How much is that puppy in the window?

In truth, 99% of puppies and dogs available through a pet store are produced in a puppy mill - a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority. Mill puppies are typically sold to pet shops—usually through a broker, or middleman—and marketed as young as eight weeks of age. Illness, disease and lack of socialization with humans and other animals are common characteristics of dogs from mills and because operators fail to apply proper husbandry practices that would remove sick dogs from their breeding pools as well puppies from mills are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions.

The true cost of a 'purchased' dog is much greater than what is listed on the bill of sale. It most often includes extensive veterinary care, efforts to treat genetic defects, and behavior modification to compensate for the symptoms they develop from being born into a filthy, cramped space which breaks their natural inhibitions for cleanliness. The essential developmental time with its mother and litter are also lost. One cannot ignore the price a family pays when they "save" a dog confined by a backyard breeder or purchase one from a polished pet shop only to then endure the emotional and financial burdens that are sure to come. No one can truly be protected against heartache, but there is some hope on the horizon to protect consumers who invest in a pet.

S.B. 574 "Pet Lemon Law"

A "Pet Lemon Law" was introduced in Michigan by Sen. Steve Bieda (D-Warren) to offer consumer protections for purchasers of dogs, cats and ferrets. Under S.B. 574, people who purchase sick or diseased animals from pet shops, breeders or dealers would have specific recourse against the sellers. S.B. 574 would offer options for the purchaser, including returning the animal for a full refund and replacement or recovery of veterinary expenses. The bill includes specific time frames for reporting illnesses, maximum amounts a buyer can recover, and provisions for congenital defects in the purchased animals. The full text of S.B. 574 is available here.

Not worth the paper it's written on

Last year Liz Frates purchased 16 week old Yorkshire Terrier from a Michigan breeder for $1,200 cash. She was told the puppy was healthy. The full written pet guarantee against anything congenital or hereditary did not help Liz in court, after the yorkie was diagnosed with grade 2 luxating patellas in both legs - congenital defect requiring surgery close to $3,200. Liz had already spent $900 in veterinary costs addressing the puppy's breathing and diarrhea problems. "Without laws in place irresponsible breeders have free reign to find loop holes and continue with their unethical practices." said Frates. "Pet insurance will not cover hereditary, genetic or congenital defects and most people cannot afford the thousands of dollars in vet bills and surgeries to correct such health problems."

"We must act now to prevent these puppy mills from bringing their business in other states to Michigan, and protect animals in the facilities already operating here." - Cal Morgan, President and CEO, Michigan Humane Society

House Bills 5230, 5231, Senate Bills 891, 892 "Puppy Protection Act"

The need for the Puppy Protection Act springs from breeders who house large numbers of dogs in close confinement for years, often without human interaction, exercise or adequate veterinary care. These animals are often forced to produce litter after litter of puppies until old age, when they may be sold, given up or killed.

The Puppy Protection Act calls for a crackdown on large-scale commercial dog breeders in Michigan and ensure that dogs in their facilities are treated humanely. House Bills 5230 and 5231(and Senate Bills 891 and 892) would establish strict guidelines for such critical issues as housing, sanitary conditions, enclosure space, exercise, and veterinary care of dogs used for breeding, many of whom live out their entire lives in these breeding facilities. The Puppy Protection Act also places an upper limit on the number of dogs that may be housed in such facilities. Importantly, the legislation exempts small-scale or "hobby" breeders from regulation.

This legislation, launched as a statewide collaboration by the Michigan Humane Society, is sponsored by state lawmakers Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills), Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), Sen. Steve Bieda (D-Warren) and Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge). It is also supported by the Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers, Puppy Mill Awareness, a Michigan-based advocacy group, and the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association.

You can see a video of the February 16, 2012 Puppy Protection Act press conference here.

Michigan's legislation is in good company with seven other states that have passed puppy mill laws within the past two year.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,272
Meetup Members,

We have come along way from the Northville side-walk parade in 2008. With 400 members strong and two anti-puppy mill bills pending in Lansing, we are doing just what a grassroots group should do – MAKING CHANGE!

Of the hundreds of events we have held, our Lobby Day next week is one of the most important days. You get a chance to speak for the 353 dogs rescued in Allegan and all the others in waiting to be rescued in breeding facilities.

The deadline to register for Lobby Day April 17th is tomorrow. Register Now!!

This is one of the two Fact Sheets I have prepared for you in preparation for the event. If you can't make it on Tuesday, please learn about the Pet Lemon Law proposal and call your representative.

Fact Sheet
Michigan: Pass Pet Lemon Law SB 574

Download File

States across the country are passing laws to combat the puppy mill industry where dogs are mass produced in large kennels to supply the demand generated by pet stores and interest sellers. Families who unknowingly purchase ill animals from these facilities are suffering not only heartache, but facing excessive veterinary costs. In addition, families are denied paperwork showing where the animal came from.

This bill is also referred to as the Pet Warranty Law or Pet Consumer Protection Act. It will offer consumer protections for purchasers of dogs and cats. People who purchase sick or diseased animals from pet shops, breeders or dealers would have specific recourse against the sellers offering options for the purchaser: returning the animal for a full refund or, replacement, if available or, recovery of some veterinary expenses.

Protect families from excessive veterinary costs: Pet sellers need to be held accountable for burdening the public with veterinary costs and emotional stress of caring for a sick pet. Seller guarantees do not hold up in court and consumers have to prove the seller knew the animal as ill at the time of purchase. Currently the state requires pet stores (only) to have 30 day health certificates signed by a vet. These are only "wellness checks" and would not necessarily uncover genetic defects. It would encourage pet stores, no longer regulated by the MDA, to get their health certificates and treat animals properly. Since most families do not want to "return or replace" the animal they have already bonded with, help with veterinary care is most important. The bill includes specific time frames for reporting illnesses (10 days), maximum amounts a buyer can recover (up to the purchase price), provisions for congenital defects in the purchased animals (90 days to report)

Will not impact rescue groups, shelters or veterinarians: The intent is not to hold non-profits, rescues, shelters or veterinarians responsible.

Stop the sale of sick animals: Holding sellers responsible for veterinary costs will cut into their profits discouraging the sale of animals. It is easy to sell a sick animal to an unsuspecting buyer who's purchase is emotional driven or may be "rescuing" the animal from the bad environment. Huge mark-ups are the motivators. A store may only pay $50-$150 per puppy to a breeder and they can easily sell them for over $700. To keep margins high vet care, food, shelter are cut leaving animals sick. According to a recent California study, 48% of puppies being sold in pet stores were ill or incubating an illness at the time of purchase. Puppies are taken away from their mothers before their immune system properly develops so pet stores can advertise smaller more marketable products. Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan has collected 75 complaints on The Family Puppy chain and 54 on Petland in Novi.

Example Case: Liz Frates, of Ann Arbor, told Puppy Mill Awareness that she purchased a 16-week-old Yorkshire Terrier from a Michigan breeder for $1,200 in cash last year. She was told that the puppy was healthy. The breeder's full written pet guarantee against anything congenital or hereditary did not help Liz in court, after the puppy was diagnosed with grade 2 luxating patellas in both legs – a congenital defect requiring surgery totaling nearly $3,200. Liz had already spent $900 in veterinary costs addressing breathing and diarrhea problems that the puppy had endured since his purchase.

Why so many sick animals? Since 2009, nineteen Michigan pet stores have shipped puppies from large commercial kennels located out of state. Michigan does not have enough large commercial kennels to meet the demand. Puppies traveling long distances in semi trucks are more vulnerable to catch diseases to weaken. Some animals travel 19 hours before they reach the pet stores in Detroit. Once they arrive at the store, they may not be isolated or treated properly before sale to reduce costs.

Require Supplier Disclosure: Breeder information, such as names and addresses, can help protect conscientious Michigan customers from unknowingly contributing to animal neglect and abuse at kennel operations. As of 2009, puppy buyers have access to kennel inspection reports and inventories online through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. With access to kennel information, buyers can make more informed decisions when purchasing their next family member.
State action is needed: Eighteen other states have Pet Lemon Laws in place. Michigan has 639 licensed dog breeding kennels, four are USDA licensed – which means large/commercial and there are approximately 37 puppy selling stores. In 2010, 1,400 puppies were shipped into pet stores from out-of-state commercial breeders. Michigan's largest retailer, The Family Puppy, ships in over 100 puppies per month – many with violations to the Animal Welfare Act.

According to a 2011 survey, puppy shoppers found 13 out of 23 establishments did not provide breeder names, 100 per cent of the establishments did not provide details about the puppy's parents beyond sire and dam names, and 95 percent did not allow viewing of the parents.

­The full text of S.B. 574.

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