Tennessee Lawmakers Look At Bill Involving Pet Sales

Local News

  There are concerns about a bill Tennessee lawmakers are considering when it comes to buying pets.

 The  Tennessee Retail Pet Store Consumer Protection Act claims to protect consumers when buying dogs and cats from pet stores.

“At first,  face value, you go that looks good, oh that looks good, and then you keep reading,” said Cindy Marx Kraus, a consumer.

 Kraus says as a taxpayer she is  concerned about the proposed legislation

It says a consumer has rights when buying a pet from a pet store. The legislation states that no animal can be sold younger than eight weeks old and if a pet is sick under certain conditions a pet store will reimburse an owner for pet bills.

But what concerns people is the last paragraph of the bill. It says enacting the law pre-empts any local ordinances and prohibits governments or agencies from enacting or enforcing local laws. 

 Here in Memphis that could mean the ban of roadside sales, that goes away because road side sellers could say we are a pet store so you can’t regulate us,” said Kraus.

 We’re against any legislation that would take away our ability to enforce animal control laws that could happen at a home or a pet store,” said Alexis Pugh, Memphis Animal Services Director.

 The head of MAS has some concerns about the last paragraph of the bill.

Supporters of the bill said it would not preempt state or federal laws but will affect local ordinances.

Tennessee State Representative Becky Massey says the goal of the bill is to protect consumers and pet stores, “We have a business that is going to be coming to our state, and in some other states there have been some local regulations passed that made some of the business people lose money,” said Massey.

” We don’t need Nashville telling every city and county in Tennessee they can’t enact laws that protect their citizen,” said Kraus.

We contacted local pet stores about this, but no one working wanted to comment because they knew nothing about the legislation. The issue goes back to another house committee in Nashville next week.  

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