ASPCA Urges Gov. Christie to Sign Bill to Protect Animals and Consumers

New Jersey lawmakers unanimously pass bill to crack down on inhumane pet dealers
December 18, 2014

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commended New Jersey lawmakers today for unanimously voting in favor of a bill requiring pet stores to disclose the origins of the dogs they sell and prohibit them from sourcing animals from breeders who fail to meet even the most basic care standards prescribed by federal and state law. The bill, which passed the Assembly 74-0 and the Senate by a vote of 37-0, now heads to the desk of Gov. Chris Christie to be signed into law.

”We’ve heard too many stories about puppy mills that breed and keep too many animals in unhealthy and inhumane conditions,” said 10th District Legislators, Sen. Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean) and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe (R-Ocean) and Greg McGuckin (R-Ocean) in a joint statement. “By requiring pet stores to disclose a cat or dog’s history, consumers will have the opportunity to do their research ahead of time, so they can make an informed decision. We hope that this legislation will help put bad breeders and brokers out of business and ensure that fewer families suffer from the financial burdens of an unhealthy pet.”

“The ASPCA welcomes the passage of S.1870, as a reasonable reform designed to protect dogs from abuse as well as our citizens from unwittingly purchasing dogs from inhumane and unhealthy puppy mills,” said Debora Bresch, Esq., senior director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Mid-Atlantic region. “The ASPCA thanks New Jersey lawmakers for taking a stand against the inherent cruelty found in puppy mills, which show so little regard for the welfare of breeding dogs and often produce sick puppies later sold in our state, and we strongly urge Governor Christie to sign S.1870 into law.”

S.1870 will require New Jersey pet stores to provide consumers with the identity of the breeders and brokers from which pet stores obtain puppies for resale in the Garden State. Additionally, it will prohibit pet stores from using breeders or brokers that do not comply with New Jersey state care standards or have been cited by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors for welfare-related violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

"I am pleased to have been part of the process of working with state legislators to help educate them on the connection between puppy mills and pet stores,” said Janice Fisher, a New Jersey animal advocate who works to raise awareness about puppy mills. “This consumer protection bill was long overdue and will help ensure that consumers receive the information they need to make a wise and informed decision when purchasing a puppy."

To raise awareness about the cruel conditions found in puppy mills, the ASPCA developed a tool on their “No Pet Store Puppies” website that links pet stores with USDA licensed commercial dog breeders that supply them with puppies. The database features over 17,000 photos taken during routine USDA inspections, allowing the public to see first-hand where pet store puppies really come from.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to eradicate puppy mills, please visit

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