California has already banned pet stores from selling puppies and kittens from so-called "mills," and by 2019 all of the state's shops will only be allowed to sell rescue animals. (Not that we're biased, but ... Hurrah!) Maryland is set to follow suit with the same type of legislation, but governor Larry Hogan has faced some pushback along the way.
The governor signed the legislation into law on April 24, despite protests from the seven local store owners who will be affected by the law. According to the store owners, they source puppies from responsible breeders who should not be classified as "puppy mills."
Plus, the store owners argue that when the law is put into effect in 2020, locals might start sourcing purebred dogs on the Internet, which is harder to regulate.
These arguments didn't stop the governor — himself a former Shih Tzu owner — from signing off on the legislation.
To announce the laws, he appeared outside the statehouse alongside several puppies who are available for adoption. He clarified that the laws weren't intended to hurt small businesses, but were instead focused on disempowering the puppy mills, which are said to keep pets in inhumane conditions.
"There are about seven pet stores in Maryland that might be affected, but there are thousands of puppies,” the governor pointed out.
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