CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill Tuesday, June 12 into law prohibiting the sale of pets on the side of the road.
"Their impulse attracts them to the cage, they don't think the process through and then they take it home. It doesn't work out and it ends up being abandoned," Director of Animal Services in Calcasieu Parish Nathan Areno said.
Calcasieu Parish has had a law prohibiting the sale of roadside pets since 2009. Areno said one of the problems with buying a pet this way is there's no way of knowing the medical background of the animals.
"You could take the puppy home and infect your other pets," Areno said.
Areno said if something goes wrong with the pet upon taking it home, the chances of finding the person who sold the animal in the first place is slim. Then you're stuck with a responsibility you might not want.
"It just becomes a burden," Sallie Shepherd with the Calcasieu Parish Animal Advisory Committee said.
Shepherd said many people selling animals roadside aren't licensed breeders. She said reputable breeders want their dogs going to a good home.
"You don't realize how backwards some of the parishes are in terms of animal control," she said. "If we can do this in the state, then that's just going to be a much better law to have statewide to keep people from selling pets on the side of the road."
And by enforcing this law, she said it will give a voice to the animals.
"It just hurts me to see those dogs out there being sold like that because of the lack of thought that the people that are buying the dogs are going through," Shepherd said.
And according to Areno, the law will help improve the health of animals and the relationships they have with owners.
The new law prohibiting the sale of roadside pets will cost you a $250 fine for a first offense, and a $1,000 fine for any offense after that.