Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Thomas P. Giblin, Raj Mukherji and Sgt. Bob Andrzejczak to provide more extensive background information for individuals looking to buy cats and dogs was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3306) would expand requirements under the Pet Purchase Protection Act to provide consumers with breeder information for each cat or dog offered for sale at an establishment. Under the bill, this information would have to be posted on each cage or enclosure in a pet shop or on pet dealer premises in addition to being posted online and in print advertisements.
“Every pet owner knows the joy that comes with welcoming a new member of the family, but when unscrupulous breeders fail to act responsibly, their behavior unfortunately can result in heartache for all the people and the animals involved,” said Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic). “This bill will help ensure that people who want to purchase pets in New Jersey can make well-informed decisions about the best places to take their business.”
“In all areas of commerce, it’s critically important that consumers have access to as much information as possible, but it’s even more crucial when it comes to buying pets,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “This legislation will make it easier for New Jersey residents to be informed and support breeders and businesses that act responsibly and engage in the best practices.”
“Having businesses that sell pets make more of their animals’ backgrounds public can help buyers rest assured that cats and dogs were properly taken care of in safe, loving environments before they arrived at the local pet shop,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “This legislation reaffirms New Jersey’s firm stance against breeders who fail to meet USDA standards or have a record of mistreating animals.”
The following information would have to be posted for each cat or dog: date and place of birth; actual or approximate age; sex; color markings or other distinguishing information, including tags, tattoos, collar numbers or microchip information; the name and address of the breeder; whether the breeder is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and information on how to access the breeder’s history electronically.
Failure to comply with the bill’s provisions would result in a $500 penalty for each violation.
Under the New Jersey Pet Purchase Protection Act, a consumer may be entitled to restitution if he or she purchases an animal that becomes sick or dies within 14 days of purchase. A veterinarian must verify that the pet was not fit for sale upon purchase.
The bill was released by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.