Oklahoma lawmaker files 2 animal protection bills
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation to protect animals from mistreatment and abuse has been filed for the 58th Legislature.
House Bill 1581, authored by Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-OKC, prohibits pet stores from selling commercially-bred animals. The stores, however, can continue offering animals for adoption from in-state rescues and shelters.
“Unfortunately, puppy mills do still exist,” Dollens said. “Commercial retailers purchasing these animals are what is keeping the industry alive.
“Additionally, our shelters are at times overrun with dogs without owners to claim them. This legislation protects animals and helps shelters find homes for the animals in their care.”
House Bill 1580, authored by Dollens, creates requirements for the way dogs are left outside. The legislation addresses the type of tether, the use of chains and padlocks, and prolonged periods of being left in severe weather.
“I would like to think that all Oklahomans treat their pets humanely,” Dollens said. “Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. This legislation puts into place minimum protections that will protect animals.”
Dollens recognizes this legislation may not rise to the importance of other bills this session, but the Oklahoma City legislator believes the House can make many improvements to the lives of Oklahomans during a session, including the non-human type.
“I remain dedicated to finding solutions for the problems Oklahomans have experienced during COVID,” Dollens said. “How we treat animals speaks to our humanity. We must treat animals with respect.”
HB1581 is set to be heard in the House Business and Commerce Committee.
HB1580 is scheduled for the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee.