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Maine House Backs Bill Targeting 'Puppy Mills'

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine House of Representatives has supported a bill designed to crack down on the sale of dogs and cats born in out-of-state breeding operations.

The Democratic-led House voted 79-59 to give initial approval to the bill on Friday. It faces further votes in the House and Senate.

The original bill sought to prohibit pet stores from selling dogs and cats that were not born and raised by that shop.

The amended version passed Friday would require pet shops to attest in writing that their animals came from an animal shelter, humane society or animal rescue organization. Existing pet shops would be exempt under certain circumstances.

Supporters say out-of-state "puppy mills'' are cruel and inhumane. But opponents said the bill won't resolve the issue and will hurt businesses.