Today, Maryland became the second state in the nation to prohibit the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores. Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 1662 today after it received overwhelming, bipartisan support in the General Assembly.

HB 1662 prohibits the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores and encourages stores to collaborate with animal shelters and rescue groups to promote the adoption of homeless pets. Animal protection groups, veterinarians and pet-loving Marylanders from across the state supported this measure. Maryland joins California and over 250 localities across the nation, including Montgomery County, which have enacted similar laws.

In addition to promoting adoption, this law will protect Maryland consumers from ending up with a sick pet store puppy, and spending thousands of dollars caring for their new pet, in some cases only to suffer the heartbreak of their new pet dying . Pet store puppies are also often behaviorally challenged because they were not properly socialized by the mill nor the pet store, making the transition to family life difficult.

“We thank Governor Hogan for signing this lifesaving measure which closes the Maryland pet store market to cruel puppy mills,” said Emily Hovermale, Maryland state director of the Humane Society of the United States. “Maryland has set an important precedent with this rejection of animal abuse that other states will surely follow.”

For those who choose not to adopt, it’s important to note this law also promotes responsible breeders who care deeply for their animals. Responsible breeders don’t sell to pet stores, so they won’t be directly impacted, but it is likely those who may have purchased a puppy from a pet store will instead seek out breeders who properly cares for their dogs and sells puppies directly to public because they have nothing to hide.

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