|Action||Promulgate regulation required by Chapter 1284 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly|
|Comment Period||Ends 12/23/2022|
Virginia is attracting growth in both business and newcomers to our state. The climate and inherent beauty of the Virginia have brought people from all over the country and the world here.
Unfortunately, it has also attracted businesses which profit from the sales of animals which operate without proper regulation.
Families who want a pet for their home and children gravitate to pet stores and other venues that often sell only young puppies. Their advertising is meant to attract young families, who may in fact never have purchased a dog.
Unfortunately due to the clever marketing, people don't realize they may well be purchasing a very young puppy from a "puppy mill". Sadly, when the "cute puppy" becomes ill of doesn't appear to fit the description its breed, it is often discarded or left at a shelter.
The care of these young puppies and how they are marketed should be regulated. It is terrible that an expensive puppy is often from "puppy mill" outside of Virginia and brought here to wealthy clientele who can afford the expense not realizing the poor breeding and care their pet has had even at a very young age.
I have lived in Virginia for over 30 years and have seen the increase in both pet stores, especially "pop-up" puppy stores that sell"only puppies" - very young ones at that. The people who own these stores have zeroed in on the income of Virginians and found a lucrative source to purchase their puppies without any obligation to vouch for their breeding or their care or their sustained health. Virginia citizens bear the burden of caring for their "castaways" in shelters, often when the puppies are surrendered in poor condition due to health problems.
It is a vicious cycle. Virginia can do better. Recently 4,000 beagles were saved in Virginia by the Humane Society of the United States and the actions of our governor. Please regulate the care and sale of these very young puppies to keep them from suffering and prevent them from being treated as a product and not as a living, breathing animal that deserves our compassion and care.