One major problem with several proposed bans on puppy sales in stores

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I am very pleased to see a number of recent articles concerning cities, towns and even states considering bans on the sale of puppies in retail stores. This trend needs to spread everywhere.

But in nearly all of the articles I’ve seen on this issue, one important section of the proposals could lead to major problems – at least if the reporting is accurate. The proposals are reported as banning the sale of puppies from breeders BUT allowing the purchase and subsequent sale of dogs from local rescue groups and shelters.

No – No – No – No – No. The only way to do this is for the rescue groups and shelters to bring in homeless pets for adoption. In my home city and I’m sure in many other cities and towns, local stores and local outlets of national chain stores such as PetSmart and Petco play host to weekend adoption fairs.

We absolutely DO NOT want stores buying dogs or cats or any homeless pets from shelters or rescue groups. And I would hope that none of these organizations would even agree to it.

Why even consider allowing the stores buy the homeless pets when they can adopted out at events held at the stores?

The SunSentinel ran a story back on April 19 about an ordinance in Sunrise, Fla., where the article reads –

The ban wouldn’t shut down pet shops in Sunrise, but would make sure that the stores could only buy animals to sell from publicly run shelters, nonprofits, and private breeders and sellers.

I’m really happy about the move, as an attempt to ban the sale of dogs from puppy mills, but with the this legislation, the stores can only claim their puppies are not from puppy mills and still sell dogs from “private breeders and sellers.” Just ban the sale of puppies in stores – PERIOD.

And the SunSentinel also reported on a similar ban in Plantation, Fla. From the article:

The ban wouldn’t shut down pet shops in Plantation, but would make sure that the stores could only buy animals to sell from publicly run shelters and nonprofits. Unlike a lot of the county, Plantation wants to ban the stores from selling hobby breeder pets, as well.

It is great that Plantation goes a step further, but again, stores should not be allowed to “buy” homeless pets to resell.

The article goes on to report Broward County is now requiring an annual permit for breeders within its boundaries. The requirements include – “… keeping records of the birth of each litter, veterinary records of vaccinations and inoculations, and providing the contact information of new owners buying the cat or dog.”

Good stuff. Add regular, unannounced inspections and the grade would be GREAT.

The Philadelphia City Council could soon ban the sale of puppies from breeding mills. The stores would be required to provide written certification that the puppies are from “reputable breeders.”

Again, I support the move in the right direction, but the stores are just going to make claims that their dogs are from quality breeders that are actually puppy mills. Due to the current state of weak regulations across the map, claiming a breeder falls under USDA rules isn’t good enough.

In Illinois, the movement has gone statewide, with House Bill 4056. This bill would limit the sale of dogs and cats to only those acquired from shelters or municipal animal services departments.

I certainly don’t want to downplay the steps forward we’re seeing within these efforts to ban puppy mill sales. But I want to make sure gaping loopholes are not available in the laws.

The system where stores allow local rescues and shelters to bring in adoptable dogs and cats to find new homes is the only way to go. It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that rescue groups have adoption applications that can weed out people with bad intentions or with a history abusing, neglecting or not offering veterinary care to their pets.

This method is working great in my home city.


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