Stop Tearing Young Puppies and Kittens Away From Their Mothers Too Soon

Target: Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts

Goal: Ban the sale of puppies and kittens under 8 weeks old and stop separating these baby animals from their mothers.

The standard acceptable time frame for selling puppies and kittens–whether this be from a pet store or breeder–is typically 8 weeks of age. Sometimes, less reputable stores and breeders will allow their animals to be adopted at an even earlier age. However, while puppies and kittens stop weaning at about 6-8 weeks, this does not signify that they are ready to leave their mothers or fellow littermates.

Puppies and kittens separated too early from their mothers and siblings are at risk for developmental, temperamental, and health complications later on in life. There are many important lessons to be learned from the species-specific contact between a puppy or kitten and their mothers and littermates, including restraint, dominance, and patience. If these animals are separated too early, it could result in destructive behaviors, separation anxiety, or biting. The recommended ages for adopting out are actually 8-9 weeks for puppies and 12-24 weeks for kittens.

Nearly 25 states have rules to prevent the sale of puppies and kittens under 8 weeks, and at least another 10 have laws instating penalties against anyone who sells a puppy or a kitten any earlier than 8 weeks. Bill S. 1322, recently proposed in Massachusetts, would strengthen current restrictions against selling these animals before they are fully ready. This bill would help to protect the health and safety of puppies and kittens across Massachusetts, and would help owners avoid buying an animal that may show signs of anxiety or aggression later on.

Sign this petition to encourage Massachusetts legislators to enact this bill and to prompt other towns and cities across the country to do the same.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Baker,

Separating puppies and kittens from their mothers and littermates at too early an age can have serious consequences later in life. For example, puppies and kittens taken from their families before the age of 8 weeks are at risk of increased behavioral, developmental, and health problems. This in turn makes it harder on owners, as their pets are more likely to display negative behaviors, such as biting.

Recently, Bill S. 1322 was proposed in Massachusetts to legally counter this unnecessary practice. Under this bill, restrictions against selling puppies and kittens before they are ready would be strengthened. This bill, if passed, will help better protect these animals and their to-be owners in the process. We are urging you, Governor Baker, to please pass this bill and ban the sale of puppies and kittens under 8 weeks old. Babies need their mothers, no matter the species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nom d’util


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