February 3, 2017
Without HB 144, the only vaccine a retail pet store must give is a rabies shot.
With HB 144, animals will be vaccinated against as many as nine diseases.
Without HB 144, retail pet stores can purchase dogs and cats from problem breeders with multiple violations.
With HB 144, only qualified, licensed breeders free of certain violations can sell to retail pet stores.
Without HB 144, state law does not give consumers even a one-day return policy at retail pet stores.
With HB 144, consumers will have 14 days to have a pet examined and determine if there is an illness requiring return.
Without HB 144, state law does not require reimbursement of veterinarian expenses to diagnose and treat a sick animal soon after purchase from a retail pet store.
With HB 144, consumers are reimbursed for reasonable veterinarian expenses and have other remedies.
With HB 144, retail pet stores must be transparent and give purchasers information about the breed, the breeder and license number, when the animal was received, and its last veterinarian exam and any treatments.
Without HB 144, animal rights activists can use local government to ban retail pet sales.
With HB 144, retail pet stores can sell legal products to meet consumer demand without fear of forced closure.
Without HB 144, an error in current law (line 51) could be exploited and everyday Georgians could be required to register as pet dealers in order to sell the occasional litter or a dog or cat they happen into.
With HB 144, the current exemption in state law is corrected to ensure individuals, small kennels & breeders of hunting dogs are protected from having to register as pet dealers.
Without HB 144, Georgia has no comprehensive consumer protections for retail pet stores in state law.
With HB 144, Georgia becomes the 24th state to enact a Pet Purchase Protection Act that protects animals and consumer choice while providing clear legal recourse to consumers who purchase animals determined to have a disease or defect.
A national trade association for the retail pet industry is working with several different retailers and other animal companion groups on House Bill 144 (view here).