State Capitol News
9:27 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Pet Giveaways Could Be A Thing Of The Past

The days of live turtles, rabbits and parakeets as prizes at the fair may be numbered. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.

Representative John Kavanagh told the House Appropriations Committee this week the issue came to his attention when a carnival came to his home town of Fountain Hills. He said, "my wife, who's the mayor, immediately began getting complaints that kids were coming home with animals at 10 o'clock at night and nobody had any way to care for them." Kavanagh went on to say, "we looked into it, as it turned out, there was a loophole in the law. You can't raffle off animals in this manner, but you can give them away in games of chance."

This measure closes that loophole, but not entirely. Kavanagh's original proposal covered all animals. That included those goldfish which youngsters bring home in plastic bags from a carnival and then ask to hunt for someplace to keep them and something to feed them. "It became apparent to me that the ban on fish was something that was not popular," Kavangh said. "And if it wasn't popular with members I'm sure it's not popular with the population. So I carved out fish, no pun intended."

And to get the necessary votes, Kavanagh also had to create an exception for pet store giveaways. The measure now goes to the full House.