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Bill to prohibit pet stores from selling cats, dogs, rabbits receives bipartisan support in Madison

DE PERE -- State lawmakers in Madison have introduced a bill to prohibit pet stores from selling cats, dogs, and rabbits in Wisconsin, which has received bipartisan support.

Since the 1980s, David Duquaine has owned one of the top breeding facilities in Northeast Wisconsin, according to WLUK.

"We have been raising and breeding dogs for over 30 years, and we primarily focus on health and temperament," Duquaine told WLUK.

Duquaine said the standard of treatment he uses for his dogs isn't the same for all breeders, especially those who are known for operating inhumane puppy mills.

"Puppy mills aren't like this, where you walk in and see where they're born and their parents. I've seen places where there are cages stacked to the ceiling in the basement and they never see the light of day," Duquaine told WLUK.

According to WLUK, there are more than 50 puppy mills operating around the state.

Lawmakers in Madison have introduced a number of bills to close them down over the years, including one that would ban the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits through any pet store in Wisconsin.

"Sadly, the large volume of sales through pet stores is a primary way of bringing dogs to market, so by closing that avenue, it gives us a chance to close down puppy mills for good," explained Representative David Steffen, R-Green Bay.

Under the law, company leaders would be required to work with animal rescues, humane societies, and adoption centers. Anyone who breaks the law would be fined up to $10,000.

"There are a lot of reasons that we are doing this. A lot of other states might be worse, but Wisconsin should be leading, so this is about doing the right thing, and I'm glad it's bipartisan, and hopefully we can move it forward," said Senator Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay.

If this bill is signed into law, it would go into effect as early as January 2020.

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