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Nearly two dozen local bans on dog sales at pet stores eliminated under bill nearing governor's desk

Blake Doriot speaks on the Senate floor. Doriot is a White man with light-colored hair, wearing a suit and tie.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Sen. Blake Doriot (R-Goshen) said his family has a long history of breeding dogs.

Nearly two dozen local ordinances across Indiana that ban the sale of dogs in pet stores will be eliminated under a bill that’s a step away from the governor’s desk.

Sen. Blake Doriot (R-Goshen) said HB 1412 puts in place “some of the strictest standards in the country” for the retail sale of dogs.

It requires pet stores to register with the state before selling dogs. And it only allows them to sell dogs from breeders and brokers who meet a canine care certification program developed by Purdue University. There are exceptions to that requirement for smaller breeding operations.

Doriot said local governments who banned retail dog sales stepped out of their lane.

“This would be no different than a local unit of government telling a grocery store, 'You can sell bread, you can sell meat, you can sell mayo but you can’t sell cheese,'" Doriot said.

READ MORE: How do I follow Indiana’s legislative session? Here’s your guide to demystify the process

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But critics of the bill said the care standards are vague and undefined. And Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said if lawmakers are going to override local decisions, they should be more focused on ensuring pet stores don’t charge exorbitant interest rates for dog sales.

“We got a lot more work to do and we need to quit stepping on the locals' throats,” Taylor said.

The Senate approved the measure Monday 31-18. It now goes back to the House, which can send it on to the governor or take it to a conference committee for further work.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.