Full Statute Name:  West's Annotated Code of Maryland - Business Regulation - Title 19. Miscellaneous State Business Regulation - Subtitle 7. Retail Pet Stores

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Primary Citation:  MD Code, Business Regulation, § 19–701 to 19–707 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  January, 2020 Date Adopted:  2012 Historical: 
Summary: In 2020, Maryland revamped this chapter on the retail sale of cats and dogs. Under the amendments, a retail pet store may not offer for sale or otherwise transfer or dispose of cats or dogs. This section may not be construed to prohibit a retail pet store from collaborating with an animal welfare organization or animal control unit to offer space for these entities to showcase cats or dogs for adoption. The changes effectively nullified the state's pet purchaser protection act. Violation of the chapter is an unfair or deceptive trade practice within the meaning of Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article.

§ 19–701. Definitions

§ 19–702. Application of subtitle

§ 19-702.1. Retail pet store sales of dogs or cats - Section repealed effective January 1, 2020.

§ 19–703. Prohibition of sale, transfer, or disposition of cats or dogs

§ 19–704. Violation of subtitle an unfair or deceptive trade practice

§ 19–705. Construction of subtitle with other rights or remedies

§ 19–706. Violation of subtitle an unfair or deceptive trade practice - Section renumbered as section 19-704 and amended effective January 1, 2020

§ 19–707. Construction of subtitle with other rights or remedies - Section renumbered as section 19-705 and amended effective January 1, 2020


§ 19-701. Definitions

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Animal control unit

(b) “Animal control unit” has the meaning stated in § 10-617 of the Criminal Law Article.

Animal welfare organization

(c)(1) “Animal welfare organization” means a nonprofit organization:

(i) that has tax exempt status under § 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code; and

(ii) whose mission and practice is the rescue of animals and the placement of those animals in permanent homes.

(2) “Animal welfare organization” does not include an organization that obtains animals from a breeder or broker in exchange for payment or compensation.

Breeder

(d) “Breeder” means a person who breeds or raises dogs to sell, exchange, or otherwise transfer to the public.

Broker

(e) “Broker” means a person who transfers dogs for resale by another person.

Offer for sale

(f) “Offer for sale” includes to sell, offer to transfer, offer for adoption, advertise for the sale, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise dispose of a domestic animal.

Retail pet store

(g) “Retail pet store” means a for-profit establishment open to the public that sells or offers for sale domestic animals to be kept as household pets.

Credits

Added by Acts 2012, c. 214, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012; Acts 2012, c. 215, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012. Amended by Acts 2016, c. 572, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016; Acts 2016, c. 573, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016; Acts 2017, c. 631, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2017; Acts 2018, c. 237, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2020..

 

§ 19-702. Application of subtitle

This subtitle does not apply to an animal welfare organization or animal control unit operating within a retail pet store.

Credits
Added by Acts 2012, c. 214, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012; Acts 2012, c. 215, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012. Amended by Acts 2016, c. 572, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016; Acts 2016, c. 573, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016.

 

§ 19-702.1. Retail pet store sales of dogs or cats - Section repealed effective January 1, 2020.

Former text:

Permissible sources of dogs or cats offered for sale

(a) A retail pet store may offer a dog or cat for sale only if the dog or cat is obtained from:

(1) an animal welfare organization;

(2) an animal control unit;

(3) the original breeder of the dog or cat if the breeder meets the requirements under subsection (b) of this section; or

(4) a dealer that obtained the dog or cat from the original breeder if the dealer and original breeder meet the requirements under subsection (b) of this section.

Verification of original breeders

(b) A retail pet store shall ensure that a person under subsection (a)(3) or (4) of this section from which the retail pet store obtains a dog or cat, as of the day the retail pet store receives the dog or cat:

(1) holds a current license under the Animal Welfare Act from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and

(2) has not received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in accordance with an enforcement action of the laws and regulations under the federal Animal Welfare Act:

(i) a citation on a final inspection report for a direct or critical violation within the 2-year period before the day the dog or cat is received by the retail pet store;

(ii) citations on two or more consecutive final inspection reports for one or more repeat noncompliant items within the 2-year period before the day the dog or cat is received by the retail pet store;

(iii) a citation on both of the two most recent final inspection reports for a no-access violation; or

(iv) three or more citations on the most recent final inspection report for separate noncompliant items other than no-access violations.

Credits
Added by Acts 2016, c. 572, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016; Acts 2016, c. 573, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016. Amended by Acts 2017, c. 343, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2017.

 

§ 19-703. Prohibition of sale, transfer, or disposition of cats or dogs

Prohibition

(a) A retail pet store may not offer for sale or otherwise transfer or dispose of cats or dogs.

Limitation on construction of section

(b) This section may not be construed to prohibit a retail pet store from collaborating with an animal welfare organization or animal control unit to offer space for these entities to showcase cats or dogs for adoption.

Credits

Added by Acts 2018, c. 237, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2020.

 

§ 19-704. Violation of subtitle an unfair or deceptive trade practice

Violation of subtitle

(a) A violation of this subtitle:

(1) is an unfair or deceptive trade practice within the meaning of Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article; and

(2) except for the provisions of § 13-411 of the Commercial Law Article, is subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained in Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article.

Each offer of an animal for sale is a separate violation

(b) Each offer of an animal for sale in violation of this subtitle is a separate violation.

Credits

Added as Business Regulation § 19-706 by Acts 2012, c. 214, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012; Acts 2012, c. 215, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012. Amended by Acts 2016, c. 572, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016; Acts 2016, c. 573, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016. Renumbered as Business Regulation § 19-704 and amended by Acts 2018, c. 237, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2020.

 

§ 19-705. Construction of subtitle with other rights or remedies

Nothing in this subtitle limits the ability of the State or a local government to prosecute the owner or operator of a retail pet store for any other violation of law.

Credits

Added as Business Regulation § 19-707 by Acts 2012, c. 214, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012; Acts 2012, c. 215, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012. Renumbered as Business Regulation § 19-705 and amended by Acts 2018, c. 237, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2020.

 

§ 19-706. Violation of subtitle an unfair or deceptive trade practice - Section renumbered as section 19-704 and amended effective January 1, 2020

Violation of subtitle

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a violation of this subtitle:

(1) is an unfair or deceptive trade practice within the meaning of Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article; and

(2) is subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained in Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article.

Violation of § 19-702.1

(b)(1) A violation of § 19-702.1 of this subtitle:

(i) is an unfair or deceptive trade practice within the meaning of Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article; and

(ii) except for the provisions of § 13-411 of the Commercial Law Article, is subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained in Title 13 of the Commercial Law Article.

(2) Each offer of an animal for sale in violation of § 19-702.1 of this subtitle is a separate violation.

Credits
Added by Acts 2012, c. 214, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012; Acts 2012, c. 215, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012. Amended by Acts 2016, c. 572, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016; Acts 2016, c. 573, § 1, eff. June 1, 2016.

 

 

§ 19-707. Construction of subtitle with other rights or remedies - Section renumbered as section 19-705 and amended effective January 1, 2020

Nothing in this subtitle limits:

(1) the rights or remedies otherwise available to a purchaser;

(2) the ability of the owner or operator of a retail pet store and purchaser to agree to additional terms and conditions that do not impair the rights granted to a purchaser under this subtitle; or

(3) the ability of the State or a local government to prosecute the owner or operator of a retail pet store for any other violation of law.

Credits
Added by Acts 2012, c. 214, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012; Acts 2012, c. 215, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2012.

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