New Jersey Moves Forward with Bill Restricting Pet Shop Sales of Cats, Dogs, and Rabbits

Pet Abduction Bill in Wales (Credits: VLOG & PETS EMPIRE/YouTube)

A significant legislative move aims to transform the pet sale landscape in New Jersey by repealing the “Pet Purchase Protection Act” and enacting a ban on the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in pet shops. The legislation introduces stringent measures to ensure the welfare of animals and to address consumer concerns regarding pet purchases.

The proposed law targets not only the retail environment but also imposes strict criteria on breeders and brokers, making it unlawful to sell cats or dogs that are deemed unfit for purchase due to serious health issues.

Pet Shop (Credits: Democrat and Chronicle)

The definition of “unfit for purchase” encompasses a wide range of congenital or hereditary conditions that significantly affect an animal’s health, with specific provisions for cases where an animal dies within 14 days of purchase, barring accidental deaths or injuries sustained post-purchase.

Pet shops are faced with a categorical prohibition against selling cats, dogs, or rabbits, with penalties of $500 per violation. However, the legislation allows for the sale of other animals and pet supplies, provided the shop is properly licensed.

Pet Shop (Credits: Animal Legal Defense Fund)

It also encourages partnerships between pet shops and animal rescue organizations to facilitate the adoption of pets without any financial transactions for the space or the animals themselves.

Furthermore, the bill strictly prohibits the sourcing of cats, dogs, or rabbits from breeders or brokers in exchange for compensation, aiming to curb the demand for commercially bred pets.

While the legislation outlines clear restrictions for pet shops, it clarifies that it does not impact the regulations concerning pet dealers not identified as pet shops or alter consumer rights in purchasing from these dealers.

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