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Nearly two dozen local bans on dog sales at pet stores eliminated under bill nearing governor’s desk

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Business, Government, Politics
Sen. Blake Doriot (R-Goshen) said his family has a long history of breeding dogs. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Nearly two dozen local ordinances across Indiana that ban the sale of dogs in pet stores will be eliminated under a bill that’s a step away from the governor’s desk.

Sen. Blake Doriot (R-Goshen) said HB 1412 puts in place “some of the strictest standards in the country” for the retail sale of dogs.

It requires pet stores to register with the state before selling dogs. And it only allows them to sell dogs from breeders and brokers who meet a canine care certification program developed by Purdue University. There are exceptions to that requirement for smaller breeding operations.

Doriot said local governments who banned retail dog sales stepped out of their lane.

“This would be no different than a local unit of government telling a grocery store, ‘You can sell bread, you can sell meat, you can sell mayo but you can’t sell cheese,'” Doriot said.

READ MORE: How do I follow Indiana’s legislative session? Here’s your guide to demystify the process

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But critics of the bill said the care standards are vague and undefined. And Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said if lawmakers are going to override local decisions, they should be more focused on ensuring pet stores don’t charge exorbitant interest rates for dog sales.

“We got a lot more work to do and we need to quit stepping on the locals’ throats,” Taylor said.

The Senate approved the measure Monday 31-18. It now goes back to the House, which can send it on to the governor or take it to a conference committee for further work.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.