By Charlie Glazier
Maryland became the second state in the country to prohibit the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores. Puppy mills are establishments that breed puppies for sale purposes. The conditions of the mills are often inhumane and cruel.
On April 24, 2018, Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill after receiving overwhelming, bipartisan support in the General Assembly. The ban won a 123 to 11 ruling and now moves to Senate. Opposition to the bill came from delegates who questioned whether the bill was created in a way that prevented reputable breeders from selling to pet shops and those who suggested that the ban does not go far enough to stop inhumane breeding. This will further the progress of pet stores collaborating with animal shelters and rescues. This will also help to promote the adoption of pets that are in need of homes. There is an average of 10,000 puppy mills in the nation and by Hogan signing the bill, it closes the Maryland pet store market to these establishments and sets a precedent for other states to follow.
Christine Daniel, a Junior at Glenelg High School, shared that “I used to volunteer at an animal shelter and there are many puppies that need homes that are not professionally bred.” The poor puppies are susceptible to illnesses or side effects from improper breeding. They are often behaviorally challenged because they are not properly socialized in the mills or pet stores. This often makes the adjustment into the home more difficult.
The law passed in Maryland also promotes safe and responsible breeders for individuals investing in dogs who do not wish to adopt or rescue. Olivia Browne, a Junior at Glenelg High School, states “I purchased my dog from a breeder a couple years ago and made sure they were a reputable breeder beforehand.” The breeders that the conditions promote do not sell to pets stores, making the client relationship and helping to ensure the puppy is going into the correct home.
If you are ever in the market for a puppy, consider the options of rescuing and adopting. If your furry friend is coming from a breeder, make sure they are reputable and established in the field. Reputable breeders should have proper documentation, willing to answer all questions the customer have, follow guidelines on the age of puppy, and knowledgeable on the dogs they are breeding.