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New bill would partner pet stores with shelters to encourage adoptions

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MADISON (CBS 58) -- The Humane Society released its annual report this month which highlights problematic puppy mills across the country. 

Seven were identified in Wisconsin and now there's a bill to prevent puppy mills from staying in business.

The bill circulating at the Capitol would ban pet stores from directly selling dogs and cats to consumers.

The bill's author Representative LaKeshia Myers  of Milwaukee says it's an effort to cut demand from puppy mills. 

Instead, pet stores would have to partner with shelters and humane societies to encourage adoptions of dogs and cats.

Many big name pet stores already do this.

Stores that don't comply under the bill would face steep fines of thousands of dollars.

The Wisconsin Humane Society says they support the bill and that there are benefits for everyone involved. 

"It's really a win-win because it gets different markets and public visibility for the animals, it's great for the businesses because they still get that foot traffic and can sell pet supplies to the families that adopt the animals and it's great for us as shelters, too. It's one more place where we can get our animals out and into great homes," said Jill Kline, VP of Community Impact Programs with WHS.

In the past, similar regulations have brought concerns for dog breeders who may sell to pet stores.

Kline says that this bill shouldn't affect the reputable dog breeders since many work directly with families looking to purchase dogs. 

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