General Assembly
4:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Virginia House Committee Passes Bailey's Law

The Virginia House of Delegates is set to vote on a Senate-approved bill that would give pet lovers more assurances that the puppy they bring home becomes a permanent family member … instead of a tragedy or significant financial burden. The Senate bill—also known as "Bailey's Law" in honor of a sick beagle—updates the state's pet "lemon law" and holds pet stores more accountable.

Tommie McNeil reports.

Humane Society-Virginia Director Laura Donahue says many puppy mills have been run out of the Commonwealth, but at least one study concludes that MOST pet store animals—including puppies—come from out-of-state breeders known for questionable practices.

She says these dogs are housed and bred in horrendous conditions.

The puppies often come with ailments and sometimes die. While state law says owners can return sickly animals and get refunds within 10 days, many who develop attachments and have already paid vet bills want to keep their pets—but at a loss. This bill would change that, extend the time frame to 14 days, AND protect pets without pedigrees.  

The bill would also require stores to disclose their pets’ origins and require dealers to provide animal history certificates upon purchase.