Oregon - HB4045
Relating to retail pet stores.
January 22, 2018
HB 4045 will amend current Oregon law to require all dogs offered for sale to be obtained solely from public and private rescue, and not from breeders. Pet shops would be required to obtain dogs from the unregulated source of rescue and shelters, where dogs are transported and relocated without any oversight, licensure, or inspections. There have been countless cases of relocated rescue dogs from unknown sources with extremely contagious diseases, some even transmittable to humans, such as canine influenza, brucellosis, and even RABIES. This bill gives unbalanced preference to unregulated rescue channels as a source for pet shops over commercial breeders that are inspected, licensed, and have a platform for consumer protection through complaints. None of these levels of consumer protection exists in the realm of rescues.
Rescue relocation exists because the number of dogs in shelters in many parts of the country are so low that relocation is keeping shelters going. Should this bill become law it will undoubtedly greatly increase the number of rescue dogs from unknown sources, particularly outside of the country, being channeled into the state of Oregon, at great risk to public health. Oregon has already had an influx of dogs coming in from other countries and this will only open that channel more. Rescue relocation is the real issue that needs regulation here, NOT further regulation for breeders.
Not only will this bill open the door for more unregulated animals on the market overall, it will also greatly decrease the availability and choice of purebred dogs for Oregon residents looking for a pet dog. Consumers should have the right to choose their pet, whether it be from a responsible breeder, a pet store that selects dogs from inspected and licensed breeders, or from a shelter or rescue. It is not the legislature’s place to make that choice for them. Removing pet shops as a viable source for purpose bred pets will send more consumers looking for particular breeds to underground sources. Forcing pet shops to purchase dogs only from rescue sources not only wrongfully limits consumer choices, but will also unnecessarily and potentially unconstitutionally regulate otherwise legal pet shops out of business, which is simply un-American.