What was described as a move to protect puppies, kittens and consumers was smothered Tuesday by the Senate Transportation Committee.
By a tie 2-2 vote, senators rejected SB253, which would have banned the sale or giveaway of puppies and kittens along public roads or in public parking lots. It would still allow the practice at homes, shelters, pet shows or pet stores.
Its sponsor, Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, said many "unlicensed and irresponsible breeders" currently sell dogs at such places as Wal-Mart parking lots or along the side of roads. He said the animals are sometimes sick and sellers offer no guidelines about needed care or problems with some breeds — and no recourse is available for dissatisfied customers.
Gene Baierschmidt, executive director of the Utah Humane Society, said that leads to impulse buying, and many of the animals soon are turned over to his group or city pounds because owners have a change of heart or are unable to care for a sick animal.
The committee asked only a few clarifying questions about what the bill would do — before the tie vote killed it for now. "I’m not sure what happened. I thought this would pass," Davis said.
The bill was backed by the Humane Society, the Best Friends Animal Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
— Lee Davidson
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