New bill will help pet owners know which kennels are licensed

A bill that will hold kennel services facilities more accountable was passed by the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate for consideration, according to state Rep. Kim Rose, who championed the bill.

H.B. 5148, which was passed unanimously, will make revisions to existing law to require anyone who offers commercial kennel services, such as boarding or grooming, to include their licensing information for their facility in all advertising for their business.

“After working on this bill for more than four years, I am delighted that we were able to agree that this is a consumer-friendly bill that ought to get passed,” Rep. Rose said. “I have heard from concerned consumers about advertised home businesses offering a range of services for pets which are uninsured or licensed. This measure will protect our furry-friends and will give consumers the option to use services from facilities that they can hold accountable.”

Existing commercial kennel law requires owners to apply for a license with the agriculture commissioner in writing, pay a $200 fee, and comply with relevant state and municipal regulations. Licenses expire December 31 and may be renewed annually. By law, the commissioner may adopt regulations to establish the size, font and location of license numbers in advertisements.

“While the existing law is straightforward, now legitimate commercial kennels must include licensing proof in their advertisement,” Rep. Rose noted. “I hope that this modification will bring some more transparency to these types of businesses and peace of mind to pet owners.”

Bob Mickolyzck, owner of Milford’s Snowflake Pet Center, said the new measures will be good for business.

“This bill is important to responsible owners like me, and others who operate commercial boarding/daycare kennels throughout the state,” Mickolyzck said. “Besides paying state sales tax on the services we provide to customers, we are state inspected, fully insured, licensed and have proper zoning. I thank Rep. Rose for championing this legislation that will help legitimate businesses thrive.”

The 2016 Legislative Session adjourns May 4.