PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh City Council is backing a plan to make it harder for people to sell pets by way of so-called puppy mills.

People lined up to rescue some of the 74 puppies cleaned up after being found filthy, covered in lice and living with chronic eye infections in a puppy mill operation in Atlanta, Georgia.

It can happen anywhere.

But on Wednesday, Pittsburgh City Council took the first step in trying to make sure the neglect from unlicensed puppy mills doesn’t happen in Pittsburgh.

Council President Bruce Kraus sponsored the bill.

“To assist with discouraging the process of manufacturing unlicensed animals, aka puppy mills, and selling them then at flea markets and over the Internet,” said Kraus.

The bill makes it illegal to sell commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in the city.

It does not prohibit licensed breeders from breeding and selling animals. But it does affect anyone breeding animals without a license with the intent of selling them over the Internet or at flea markets.

And it also requires kennels advertising animal sales to disclose the kennel license and sales license in the advertisements.

“If you are a licensed breeder, when you advertise to sell the animal that your license number is clearly displayed so that someone can make an informed decision if we are purchasing this puppy we know that this is coming from a licensed breeder and not from a puppy mill,” said Kraus.

Wednesday’s animal legislation was a preliminary vote. The final vote expected next week.

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