By Staff

TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday targeting puppy mills.

HB 1818 would prohibit the sale of commercially-raised dogs and cats in pet stores. This is a major step in encouraging Texans to acquire pets from humane sources, like shelters, rescues and responsible breeders, instead of inhumane puppy mills, which is where most pet store puppies come from.

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Rep. Jared Patterson filed the bill and said it would also require pet stores to maintain records as to where the animal was obtained from for at least a year, according to a release from Patterson’s office.

“An estimated 2 million puppies sold annually across the U.S. originate from puppy mills while 2 million to 3 million puppies and cats are euthanized by pet shelters every year,” Patterson said in a release. “Commercially bred dogs often live in horrendous conditions and suffer from an array of illnesses, often unknown to the consumer. Although 24 out of the 25 top pet stores already adhere to the humane model, Texas must enforce a minimum standard so that new pet owners can rest assured knowing that their dog or cat was raised and treated with care.”

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Several puppy-selling pet stores in the state were exposed time and again for poor treatment of animals and rampant disease. CBS 11 News reported on The Frisco Petland store after it received citations following an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States. That investigation revealed sick puppies and a lack of proper veterinary care.

The passing of the bill is welcome news to Texas director for the Humane Society of the United States, who said, “I am a proud Texan today as we take a big step toward rejecting puppy mill cruelty. In a state where shelters and rescues are working tirelessly to try to save the lives of homeless pets, pet stores should not be able to truck in thousands of puppies from puppy mills,” said Lauren Loney, Texas director for the Humane Society of the United States. “HB 1818 would cut off a major outlet for cruel puppy mills by prohibiting the sale of commercially-bred dogs and cats in pet stores. Representative Jared Patterson, who authored the bill, was a champion for animals on the House floor this week.”

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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