Texas Dog owners, please contact your representatives. Use the sample letter below.
DEAR HOUSE CALENDARS COMMITTEE MEMBERS,
I am writing you about the harm HB 1818 would do to responsible dog ownership if it is enacted as currently worded.
I am a proud Texas resident and urge you to hold HB 1818 in committee. As currently worded, HB 1818:
• Violates the values of liberty, freedom, protecting business, and small government that Texas prides itself in.
• Requires pet stores to showcase pets that come only from unregulated and random sources. This would not only remove the most regulated and vetted source of pets from the market, it will exacerbate existing sourcing problems by incentivizing the sales of pets from unregulated sources not subject to animal welfare regulations or the health tests and reporting requirements associated with those regulations.
• Is not about a Texas-specific issue. In fact, Texas is just one of 14 states where animal rights‐driven, onerous pet store legislation has been introduced in 2021. HB 1818 and others introduced this year are modeled after a troubled California law that was enacted 2017 and resulted in harmful consequences there.
• Will do nothing to prevent animal cruelty, and will cause harm to Texans who want a quality purpose‐bred pet but don’t have access to a local breeder or do not want to be put on a long puppy waiting list.
• Would disparately impact small players in the pet sales market. Currently, only 4% of Americans obtain pets from a traditional retail pet shop, while approximately 44% of Americans obtain their pet from a retail rescue, traditional breed rescue, shelter, or similar source. The U.S. currently has a large market for “rescue pets”, and with it, significant economic incentive for individuals or organizations who can avoid regulatory oversight by irresponsibly breeding or “flipping” pets directly to meet this demand.
• Will likely prove fatal to all targeted Texas pet stores that sell purpose-bred dogs. HB 1818 will force small businesses to change their business models and compete directly against large‐scale online retailers and big‐box pet supply chains, which can more easily realize economies of scale in the pricing of products. When small, independent stores cannot operate with the same economies of scale, they often are forced to shut down. The number of stores that would be impacted should HB 1818 be enacted is not known by the Texas Legislature, allied groups, or AKC.
• Should be amended, as recommended by the American Kennel Club and other allied organizations, to require pet shops adhere to appropriate care standards and to prohibit them from purchasing animals from any breeder that has been found to have committed a direct violation of USDA animal welfare regulations or three or more indirect violations of USDA regulations related to the health or welfare of an animal in the last two years and/or violations of Texas’ Dog or Cat Breeders Act. This would continue to support the quality of purpose-bred dogs and cats sold by pet stores, do more to improve pets’ welfare than closing down retail pet sellers – and avoid destroying small businesses.
Thank you for your consideration. Please hold HB 1818 in committee.
President Lone Star Fox Terrier Club
Member North Texas Terrier Club
Legislative Liaison American Fox Terrier Club
Legislative Liaison American Kennel Club
North Texas Director Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA) – THE AKC FEDERATION CLUB IN TEXAS
Member Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance (SAOVA)
Member US Sportsmen’s Alliance
Member Texas Game Warden’s Association
Member The Cavalry Group
Animal owner for 70 years