WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- Pet shop owners say it will put them out of business. It's a proposal to ban sales of dogs, cats and rabbits unless they come from a rescue shelter.
There are 16 pet retailers in Connecticut, employing several hundred people and some of them are fearing for their livelihood.
"Pet stores in Connecticut get their animals from puppy mills, that's what I'm hoping we can prove with this Task Force," said Amy Harrell, CT Votes for Animals.
Pet store owners and employees huddled at the state capitol Wednesday to plan their strategy against efforts aimed at forcing them to only sell animals from rescue shelters.
"We know that Connecticut pet shops obtain their dogs from breeders who are subject to very weak federal regulations, very poor federal enforcement," said Debora Bresch, ASPCA.
This 'All Pets Club' store in Wallingford is one of four in the state.
Jennifer DeAngelis is the puppy purchaser for the entire chain and says they only trade with breeders with no USDA inspection violations. Many they've dealt with for ten to fifteen years.
"You want to put us out of business, you're still not going to take care of the over population because, you know what? There's still internet sales," said Jennifer DeAngelis, All Pets Club.
The industry says that this kind of regulation would not only hurt their business, it would give the consumer fewer choices and fuel even more underground market sales on the internet from puppy mills.
"The industry's view is we have zero tolerance for bad actors, the so called puppy mills shouldn't be in business and we're as against them as they are," said Charlie Sewell, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
The task force is planning two big public hearings on this in October and November. One at the Capitol and one down state.
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