It’s a constant debate- rescue pets versus breeders.
“Rescues, we go to the SPCA pretty regularly just to check them out. There’s so many animals out there that need homes already,” said one York resident.
“We have a Golden Retriever, so we went to a breeder for that," said another.
Regardless of which you choose to go with, a proposed bill will aim ensure one thing— the pet will not come from a mill.
The bill, introduced by State Sen. Andy Dinniman, would ban pet stores from selling animals raised in a commercial setting.
He says in a statement the idea is to crack down on mills by cutting off their revenue source, which in some cases, are pet stores.
Brian Pottorff, an AKC licensed beagle breeder in Perry County, says, to him, this is a no-brainer.
“It’s part of being a responsible pet owner. And part of that is buying from responsible people,” said Pottorff.
The law, according to the statement from Sen. Dinniman, "protects both animals and consumers from problems related to puppy, kitten, and rabbit mills and their sales outlets. And it won’t impact responsible, humane breeders who care for their animals and do not sell through pet stores."
Pottorff agrees, saying reputable breeders like himself support this.
He says it won’t hurt business for them, and anything the state can do to crack down on the mills is worth it.
“There’s bad people out there that won’t follow any rules. What I do like is they have inspections of these puppy mills where they go inspect them. And hopefully with those inspections, people aren’t getting through the cracks and raising animals in poor conditions,” said Pottorff.
And people in the community we spoke with agree.
“I’m against puppy mills. I’m on board for anything you can protect pets with,” said a York resident.
“Puppy mills are pretty scary, pretty disgusting when you think about it and you hear what’s going on with it. So I would love that,” said another.
In 2018, Pennsylvania was ranked 4th in the country for the most number of puppy mills by the Humane Society of the United States.
Their website says Pennsylvania had nine reported puppy mills in 2018, down from 12 in 2017.
A spokesman from Sen. Dinniman’s office says they are confident the bill will be passed this session.