DENVER (CBS4) – Animal rights activists, legislators, members of the public, and Colorado’s first gentleman, gathered Monday night to celebrate the proposal of the Humane Pet Act, a bill that, if passed, would not only create stricter regulations for breeding facilities, but would also ban the retail sale of dogs and cats in Colorado. The event was held at Oasis Brewing Company in the Highlands.
The proposed bill would put a cap on the number of dogs and cats that can be bred in a single facility, how many times a dog or cat could be bred in a lifetime, and would require those animals to be given a new home once they are finished breeding.
“We’re not anti-breeder, this is not an anti-breeder bill,” said Amy Jesse, Public Policy Director of Stop Puppy Mills for the Humane Society of the United States, at Monday’s launch party. “This is requiring breeders to be more humane.”
By banning the retail sale of puppies and kittens, supporters also say the bill would stifle the demand for puppy mills out of state.
“Puppy mills don’t care about the emotional health of the dogs and cats they breed and sell,” said First Gentleman Marlon Reis during his speech at the launch party. “This is a bold step forward.”
Rep. Monica Duran, of Jefferson County, authored the bill. She said the bill is “doing what’s right.”
“Many times in a lifetime now, a dog is just bred continuously until they’re exhausted, and then once they’re exhausted, they’re discarded, like trash,” Duran explained.
But some local pet store owners are concerned the bill will put them out of business, and isn’t fair to the breeders and pet stores who do take care of their animals.
“I feel the bill will not only hurt my business and put me out of business… but also I feel that bill will not do anything to curtail what the humane society depicts as a puppy mill,” said Jens Larsen, owner of Perfect Pets in Centennial.
Larsen has been in business for 26 years. He said he loves the puppies, and enjoys making people happy by helping them to find a new furry family member.
“I care about all of the people that buy them, and we make a lot of people happy, a lot of people have suffering, and they come in here to play with animals, and they find refuge in the animals always being loyal and friendly and kind to them,” Larsen said.
Asked about those concerns on Monday, Duran said, “the intent is not to put them out of business, but to make them realize that we need to change and it’s about time.”