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Kowall, Democrats team up on bill for puppy mill rules

From: Pam
Sent on: Friday, September 16, 2011 9:16 AM

Kowall, Democrats team up on bill for puppy mill rules

 

http://spinalcolumnonline.com/kowall-democrats-team-up-on-bill-for-puppy-mill-rules/

 


An article by Kirk Pinho


A bipartisan group of state senators — including one from the lakes area — is attempting to put a choke collar on puppy and kitten mills in the state of Michigan.

 


Senate Bill (SB) 574, sponsored by state Sen. Steven Bieda (D-Warren) and co-sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall (R-Commerce, Highland, Milford, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, White Lake, Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield), among other Democrats and Republicans, has been referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee, where it awaits that panel’s consideration.

 

Under the proposal — which would apply to pet shops that sell dogs or cats, pet dealers, breeders, someone who sells dogs or cats to the public for profit, and people who sell more than one litter of dogs or cats under 6-months-old or two dogs or cats over 6-months-old each year — a dog or cat would be considered “unfit for sale” if it meets any of the following conditions:

 

• Within 30 days after the buyer receives the pet, a veterinarian, in writing, says that the dog or cat has symptoms of a contagious or infections disease or illness that existed at the time of purchase; or

 

• Within 90 days after the buyer receives the pet, a veterinarian, in writing, says that the dog or cat died or is ill due to a hereditary or congenital defect.

 


If a pet is deemed unfit for sale but is sold anyway, the person who purchased the dog would have the following recourse under SB 574:

 


• The ability to return the dog or cat for a refund of the full purchase price; or

 


• If a replacement dog or cat is available, exchange the dog or cat for another of the purchaser’s choice that is of equal value; or

 


• The ability to keep the “unfit for sale” dog or cat but be reimbursed “reasonable veterinary fees,” although that reimbursement could not exceed the original purchase price of the dog or cat; or

 


• If the dog or cat dies, receive another dog or cat of equal value, if available, and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees; those, too, could not exceed the original purchase price of the dog or cat; or

 


• If the dog or cat dies, receive a refund of the full purchase price.

 


“I’m an animal lover,” Kowall said. “We’ve always had dogs and cats and everything else around the house. I just, in good conscience — when I saw the bill come up, I said it’s the right thing to do.
“Of course, you always get the other side saying it’s over-regulation or it’s none of our business, but it is our business. We’re put here on the earth to use the animals, not abuse them.”

 


Joanie Toole, administrative supervisor for Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption, said she is not aware of any puppy mills in the county.

 


“The bill also includes (language about) animal shelters like ours and rescues and things like that, and those are practices we already do anyway,” she said. “We get strays in and we don’t know all the background (of the animal). If something comes up medically, we do refund the adoption fee.”

 


State Sen. David Robertson (R-Waterford) said he could get on board with the legislation.

 


“Certainly I’m interested in supporting the goals and objectives of making certain that animals are bred humanely and properly, with care,” he said. “I can’t object to the goals here, which are basically a consumer protection bill for people who purchase animals or obtain animals from shelters or rescue groups or from pet stores.”

 


Kevin Hatman, media relations coordinator with the Michigan Humane Society, couldn’t be reached for comment prior to press time.

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