This bill of the day would require any shelter, pet breeder, stable or kennel who are operating in the state of Mississippi, be provided adequate licensure after a proper evaluation by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, which is currently Andy Gipson.

The bill, SB 2101, authored by Senator Dearing would put more safeguards in place to ensure that kennels and shelters are being operated in an appropriate and lawful way. It would also add a misdemeanor for individuals in violation of the standards.

The bill reads:

It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a pet dealer or operate a kennel, stable, or animal shelter unless the person has a valid license issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture. Any person acting without a license in violation of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

The licenses are only applicable for one year and must be renewed yearly. There can also be separate classes of licenses depending on the primary operating functions of the shelter or kennel.

The Commissioner, or his designated agents are under the authority to enter and inspect the kennel/shelter at any time and revoke or suspend a license if it is not being operated up to code.

The bill was referred to the Agriculture and Judiciary B Committees.