ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia lawmakers have proposed a bill to help regulate how retail pet stores sell dogs and cats, in an effort to protect the animals from certain diseases and parasites.
House Bill 144, also known as the Georgia Retail Pet Store Purchase Protection Act, was sent back to the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee at the end of the 2017 General Assembly session.
Whether it gets passed this year or not, Dr. Amber Love, a veterinarian at Bush Animal Clinic in Albany, said she believes retail pet stores should be regulated.
The bill outlines regulations for retail pet stores, to help prevent people from buying dogs or cats who have certain health problems from pets stores.
That includes making sure dogs and cats are checked by a veterinarian before being sold, and that they have certain vaccinations and drugs that fight parasites.
"Most people that buy pets from pet stores or even from breeders, they've got little kids or even people who have grandkids," said Dr. Love. "A lot of these intestinal parasites, it can be transmitted to humans."
If passed, HB 144 would also require the pet store to tell the buyer about any known congenital or hereditary defects or disorders prior to selling the dog or cat.
The bill also details a buyer's potential right to return the animal and get a refund, if a veterinarian certifies the animal has a certain disease or illness within a certain amount of time from the purchase.
Whether the Georgia Retail Pet Store Purchase Protection Act does become law, Dr. Love said that if you buy a pet from a store or a breeder, it's best to take it to the vet for a checkup within 24 hours no matter what.
"Do a health exam on a patient, or the pet," Dr. Love said. "Make sure that they are healthy to go before you introduce them into your home."
If signed into law, the bill would also repeal any laws that conflict with this act.
Click here to read the entire piece of proposed legislation.