To the Editor:
Records show that puppy-selling pet stores in Rhode Island source their puppies from USDA-licensed dealers, many with a history of egregious federal and state animal welfare violations. These breeders have received violations for a litany of cruel and negligent actions, including finding dogs with physical injuries; dogs with hair loss; dogs with eye disorders; dogs living in filthy and unsanitary conditions; and dogs with grisly open wounds. One dealer, Tiffanies, was listed in the Humane Society of the United States’ most recent Horrible Hundred puppy mill report. Tiffanies is a large broker between breeders and pet stores and the facility was cited by Missouri state inspectors for 35 puppies that died during a six-month period in 2018.
Filed by Representative Pat Serpa and Senator Coyne, the Humane Pet Store bill in Rhode Island (H. 5072/S. 705) would prevent dealers like Tiffanies from supplying puppies to pet stores in the state. This bill was introduced last year and passed the House overwhelmingly, yet it hasn’t even made it out of Committee this year. House Speaker Mattiello, who has supported animal welfare bills in the past, has the power and passion to move this bill forward again this session. Please call Speaker Mattiello, 401-222-2466 and ask him to move the Humane Pet Store bill out of the House.
Stephen M. Hunter, Esq.