Pet store manager against new shelter bill to fight puppy mills - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Pet store manager against new shelter bill to fight puppy mills

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WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – The Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would ban the sale of dogs and cats that weren’t purchased through an animal shelter, but now a West Warwick puppy store owner is barking back.

Carlos Munoz is the owner of The Perfect Puppy and has been catching heat after several people accused him of buying his dogs from puppy mills.

"This bill is taking away everyone's choice. Everybody's right to make a choice {and} it's taking away my right to be a business. I'm a puppy store not a rescue," Munoz said. "We buy our puppies from licensed inspected, regulated breeders."

But Holly Dupont said it's not all sunshine at The Perfect Puppy. She said when she bought her dog from Munoz four years ago, it got sick.

"It turned out he had kennel cough which turned into pneumonia," she said. "I think it's a very profitable business and I think there's a lot of people above them that are profiting."

Dupont said she ended up having to cough up around $6,500 in vet bills, while Munoz reimbursed her for the price of the dog.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa, D-West Warwick, would prohibit pet shops from selling cats and dogs that they didn’t buy from an animal shelter, pound, or rescue facility.

According to the General Assembly, the law would also prohibit any individuals from selling, exchanging, bartering, displaying, or trading dogs and cats on “any roadside, public right-of-way, parkway, median, park, or other outdoor market.”

Rep. Serpa released the following statement regarding the bill:

“We all know the horror stories of animals that are bred in puppy mills. What this legislation will do is decrease the demand for dogs and cats that are bred in this terrible fashion while increasing the demand for pets that come from animal shelters. This in turn will encourage pet shops to adopt and adhere to more humane policies in the sales of cats and dogs.”

ABC 6 asked Munoz if he ever purchased a dog from a puppy mill:

"If I have it had to have been a few years back when we dealt with a broker, which we don't do anymore," he said.

Similar laws have already been enacted in California, Maryland, and various local governments.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate, where similar measures have been proposed by Sen. Stephen R. Archambault, D-Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston.

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