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State Pet Shop Laws: District of Columbia

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Definitions:

  • Animal: any animal other than man and includes fowl, birds, fish, and reptiles, wild or domestic. (D.C. CODE ANN. § 3-502)
  • Pet shop is not defined.

Vet Care:

  • N/A

Housing:

  • Pet shop cages must allow the animal to turn about freely, stand, sit and lie in a natural position. (Penalty: maximum $300 fine or maximum 90 days’ confinement) (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 703.14, 700.12)

Lemon Laws:

  • N/A

Food and Water:

  • N/A

Sanitary Conditions:

  • Pet shops must be “clean and sanitary” and free of “objectionable odors.” (Penalty: maximum $300 fine or maximum 90 days’ confinement) (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 703.1, 703.7, 703.14, 700.12)

Unweaned Animals:

  • Prohibits anyone from selling a rabbit under 16 weeks old or a chick or duck under 8 weeks old. Exception for agriculture or science. (D.C. CODE ANN. § 8-1808)

Miscellaneous Provisions:

  • License required for pet shops. (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 701.1)
  • The sale of “pets” is limited to domestic dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits, captive-bred species of birds, nonpoisonous snakes, fish, turtles and racing pigeons. (D.C. CODE ANN. § 8-1808)
  • Pet shops must provide artificial illumination of 5 foot candles 30 inches above floor level. (Penalty: maximum $300 fine or maximum 90 days’ confinement) (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 703.9, 700.12)
  • Pet shops must provide “proper lighting, ventilation and heating.” (Penalty: maximum $300 fine or maximum 90 days’ confinement) (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 723.1, 700.12)
  • Pet shops must keep records of each animal sold for 1 year. (Penalty: maximum $300 fine or maximum 90 days’ confinement) (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 702.8, 700.12)
  • Pet shops can be inspected by Consumer & Regulatory Affairs at any reasonable hour. (Penalty: license revocation or suspension) (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 700.10)
  • Pet shops must certify turtles as free of salmonella prior to selling or offering them for sale. A warning must be posted next to turtle displays. (Penalty: maximum $300 fine or maximum 90 days’ confinement) (D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 22 § 710.1, 710.4, 700.12)

Notes:

  1. Where “adequate space” is not defined the state has not established a definition for the term.
  2. The definition of “animal” may actually be broadly written while the types of animals covered by the law (e.g., veterinary care, sanitation, food and water) may be more narrowly drafted.

Also see:

Legislation
Legislation
Legislation