Law to protect pets moves to the House

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – WAVY.com is staying on top of the latest developments of a bill to protect puppies and their new owners that is making its way through the General Assembly.

Bailey’s Law would require pet stores to make it clear where they’re getting animals from and pay up if something goes wrong. WAVY.com spoke to animal rights activists singing its praises.

“I frankly see this as good for pets and consumers because, at the heart of it, it not only saves the lives of the animals, it’s a consumer protection issue,” said Debra Griggs, President of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies.

In 2013, a Virginia family purchased a puppy, named it Bailey, and quickly watched it’s health decline. They found themselves bewildered when the pet store that sold Bailey to them refused to help them cover the mounting medical costs. The legislation that followed, called Bailey’s Law, was passed in the Senate as well as a House Sub Committee this week. It will soon be read before the House.

“It created quite a fervor, and consumers became aware of the risks of buying dogs and cats from pet stores,” said Griggs. “In a seven-month period, we were able to verify that 888 puppies came from out of state to Virginia pet stores and over half of those had animal welfare act violations. People who buy a puppy aren’t buying a refrigerator. They don’t want to turn in a sick puppy for a healthy one. They love the animal. No more ambiguous answers when a consumer says where did that puppy come from.”

And if you don’t want to give a sick dog back, you can receive funds to help keep them alive. The Humane Society hopes that this law will get more pet stores to open their doors to rescue groups to bring in pets who need homes.

Bailey’s Law has had some opposition from individual breeders.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates on the bill’s progress.

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