Your chances of unwittingly buying a dog or cat in bad health would drop sharply, if a measure sponsored by two shore state Senators becomes law.

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Legislation sponsored by Senators Jim Holzapfel (R-10) and Robert Singer (R-30) would require pet shops to provide the pet's background and the breeder's identity and address. The Senate Economic Growth Committee approved the bill which now awaits a full upper-house vote.

Additionally, pet shops would be barred from selling, offering, or buying for resale, dogs or cats from breeders or intermediaries who have no licenses, who fail to comply with state animal-care regulations, or who have been cited on certain reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The bill, says Holzapfel, addresses the proliferation of puppy and kitten mills that maintain what he calls unhealthy and inhumane conditions.

"By requiring increased disclosure of a cat or dog's history at the point of sale, we can give consumers the opportunity to research the breeder and their reputation and make an informed decision on where to make their purchase," Holzapfel said in a prepared release.

Singer adds that it removes the shield of anonymity from quesdionable breeders. "The protections offered by this legislation will help put the bad breeders out of business and ensure that fewer families are heartbroken by a new puppy or kitten falling ill," Singer said.