Animal advocates call for stricter laws in Iowa

Local News

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A local group is calling for new laws after a controversial pet store passes inspection.

Bailing Out Benji works to reform laws to protect pets and stop puppy mills.

They’ve been challenging pet mart on Brady Street in Davenport for years.

We investigated conditions there earlier this week.

Tracey Kuehl, a Bailing Out Benji volunteer, tells us there may still be issues at the store even though an inspector says they’re up to code.

“The reason there are situations like this are the laws are poor, the inspection protocol is poor, the oversight of the entire industry is poor,” Kuehl said.

Kuehl said other states, like Illinois, have cracked down on pet stores.

Some require the store owner to say where each dog is from and others have banned the sale of dogs and cats completely.

In Iowa, a pet store must be registered with the state and can only sell animals that a licensed veterinarian has examined.

Violators could face up to $1,000 in fines.

In Illinois, a pet store must have a license, but also record the origin and sale of dogs, which should be available for inspection.

Illinois also requires a standard of sanitary conditions, proper ventilation, animal nutrition. The state can revoke or refuse to renew a license at any time.

A national report ranked Iowa as having the second-worst animal protection laws in the country.

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