February 06, 2015
New Jersey pet stores will now be required to disclose information regarding the origins of the dogs and cats they sell under a new law signed by Gov. Chris Christie.
The law, signed into effect Thursday, aims to protect families from purchasing unhealthy pets.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin, prohibits stores from sourcing animals from breeders who fail to meet the basic care standards prescribed by federal and state law.
“Puppy and kitten mills are anonymously breeding and selling unhealthy pets to customers without providing information regarding the medical history of the animal," Assemblyman Wolfe said in a statement. "It can be devastating for a pet owner to watch their new dog or cat struggle with an illness in the early stages of its life."
With the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" in place, pet stores must post all information regarding the pet on its cage or enclosure, including the age, name of breeder and their contact information as well as the breeder’s USDA license number.
The bill also requires that consumers have access to the USDA inspection reports for all breeders. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in a $500 penalty.
"After years of dedication to this legislation, we are pleased this measure to protect the purchaser from buying sick pets for their families is now law,” Holzapfel said in a statement. “By requiring a pet store to disclose the history at the point of sale, we can give consumers the opportunity to research the breeder and make an informed decision on where to make their purchase.”
Animal activists from The Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Friends of Animals United New Jersey have praised the signing of this legislation.