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Ask The Times: How are pet shops inspected?

If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

How are pet shops inspected and where should people direct complaints?

The Georgia Department of Agriculture has 19 animal protection inspectors and four animal protection field supervisors responsible for enforcing animal protection laws and rules and regulations at businesses, such as pet shops, and shelters.

“The inspection staff is trying to ensure the animals in the facility are receiving humane care,” according to the department’s website

Humane care is defined as “but is not limited to, the provision of adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter, and wholesome and adequate food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal's size, species, and breed. Inhumane care includes any act, omission, or neglect, which causes unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death to any living animal.”

Pet shops are required to be licensed by the department as a pet dealer. 

Complaints can be submitted electronically on the department’s website at

or by calling 404-656-4914. Complaints concerning animal cruelty should be directed to law enforcement.

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