A Quick Update from CVA…

Happy New Year! January will be very busy for the Alliance. The Task Force will meet on January 8 and 14 to discuss testimony and prepare a report. Please check back for updates about the results. Both of these meetings are open to the public, and will be held at 10:30, at the Legislative Office building in Hartford in room 2D. They may also be broadcast on CT-N http://ct-n.com/

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Humane Pet Shop Campaign Update

This fall has been an incredibly busy season, but we are pleased to report that we have made significant progress toward stopping the sale of puppy mill dogs in Connecticut’s pet shops! Here is a summary of our accomplishments so far:

State Task Force hearings

The state task force held two hearings, one in October, one in early December. We are so thankful to everyone who submitted letters, or came in person to show support at these hearings.

We received very compelling testimony in favor of humane sourcing in our pet shops, including representatives from rescue organizations, veterinarians who have witnessed medical issues of puppy mill dogs, local reputable breeders who condemn the traditional pet shop model, and many citizens with well-reasoned arguments against supporting puppy mills. We also heard from an owner of H3 Pet Supply in Stratford who spoke to the many benefits of the humane business model.

Finally, we received two lengthy reports, researched and submitted by Karen Rasmussen, of Wilton, CT, which directly expose the breeders that supply our pet shops. These reports tell us that in 2012, a total of 608 breeders were used to supply 11 pet shops in CT. 52% of these breeders had USDA violations. 26% of them were not found in the USDA database, and are presumably unlicensed. I urge each of you to further review the important information in these reports: the first focuses on 30 breeders on the HSUS list of the “Horrible Hundred” puppy millers. The second is a complete compilation of 2012 breeders that supply each of our pet shops.

The Task force will reconvene in January for two meetings to discuss received testimony, before making a final recommendation to the Environment Committee. The legislative session starts in February 2014.

News and media coverage

The humane pet shop issue has generated significant news coverage, appearing on local nightly news, all major newspapers, and many radio stations. See this page for a selection of articles, letters, and TV clips from this fall.

As an indication of the campaign’s spotlight status, the humane pet shop bill was named among the top issues for the 2014 Legislative session by the State Office of Legislative Research, and was featured in an online Courant gallery this week.

CT Alliance for Humane Pet Shops still growing

The CT Alliance for Humane Pet Shops has grown to 67 members and counting! Please take a look at the list of members on the right side of the page on the Alliance Web site, and if there are any missing, we will appreciate your help in recruiting! Membership is open to both organizations and businesses with activity in Connecticut. We thank CVA board member Karen Laski for her tireless work in building the Alliance’s membership.

It’s time to start the conversation with your elected lawmakers

Thanks to the hard work of the animal advocacy community, the humane pet shop campaign is off and running!

But the most powerful asset to our campaign is your voice. Please take a moment to send a short email to your State Senator and State Representative and ask them to support humane pet shop legislation (Find their contact info here). Ask them to require pet shops to stop selling commercially bred dogs and cats and instead allow them to partner with rescue organizations. There is sample language here you may use for your email.

Together, we are a powerful voice, and we can win the fight against puppy mills.