Saturday, January 31, 2015

Changes Possibly Coming For Puppy Purchases In Virginia


Changes possibly coming for puppy purchases in Virginia - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Changes possibly coming for puppy purchases in Virginia

Posted: Jan 22, 2015 4:43 PM CSTUpdated: Jan 22, 2015 10:11 PM CST

A new bill making way through the General Assembly would change where you can purchase puppies and forbid Virginia pet shops from doing business with controversial out-of-state puppy mills.
This move comes after a statewide undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States. As we first told you, they visited pet stores across the Commonwealth last fall.
"Pauley's Pups" in Ashland was accused of dealing with shady breeders. One of those breeders was convicted of animal cruelty. Lawmakers are now taking action in the new session.
"If you want to make money in this business you really have to sell your soul," said an unidentified Virginia pet store worker in an undercover video shot by the Humane Society of the United States. "You can't care about animals at all."
The undercover video exposed shocking conditions of puppies being sold at Virginia pet stores. We first told you about Pauley's Pups in Ashland.
The store owner insists he had no clue about the undercover visit. The humane society claims the store was linked to problem puppy sellers. One of those sellers was cited for animal welfare violations in 2012.
"They say that we have to get them from USDA licensed breeders and we do that," said store owner William Pauley back in November. "Again are you going to look at every breeder and find spotless records? Unfortunately we don't find spotless records on every parent."
That's not good enough for the dozens of animal advocates who gathered outside the Capitol building Thursday.
"We want to close Virginia as a market for the sale of puppy mill dogs," said Matthew Gray with the Humane Society of the United States.
SB1001 would ban the sale of puppies at flea markets, parking lots, and other public areas where sales are not regulated.
"It would prohibit the sale in Virginia pet stores of puppies that have been raised in inhumane conditions in other states," said Gray.
Mr. Pauley says he usually has about 50 puppies at any given time. After two decades in the business, he says some problems are to be expected. He welcomes the new legislation.
"If the breeders are not going to be in compliance with the laws that they need to do," said Pauley. "Then I think they needed to be taken at least out of the market where we can't purchase their puppies."
SB1001 passed unanimously in the Senate Agriculture Committee. It now heads to the full Senate as early as next week.
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