A wacky claim that bans on selling dogs in pet stores is unconstitutional

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A pet store in East Providence, RI is challenging the city’s ban on selling dogs in stores as unconstitutional, as reported Wednesday on the Courthouse News Service website.

The store is pointing to the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution and equal protection. Equal protection? What about protection from suffering for dogs housed in puppy mills.

There is a very good reason for banning the sale of dogs and cats in stores. Pets should not be sold like toasters, where people buy on impulse and later discard the pet. There is a real cost in lost lives and suffering and there is real monetary cost to taxpayers in caring for these discarded pets in shelters.

The dogs and cats, taxpayers and consumers need the protection – not store owners. The owners can sell supplies and food toys. My home city has numerous pet stores – from major chains to locally-owned and they are doing great without selling puppies or kittens.

This idea that pet stores have to sell puppies was proven wrong years ago. Sell the supplies and host adoption fairs by local rescues and shelters. It works and it shows the store owners really care.

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One thought on “A wacky claim that bans on selling dogs in pet stores is unconstitutional

  1. The lawsuit itself sounds entirely bogus, but the store does seem to have a point, in that as written, the ordinance would appear to prevent not just commercial dog and cat sales but even pet adoptions in any business. In fact, it might even prohibit someone from giving a dog or cat to a coworker at a workplace. The wording reportedly forbids anyone to “display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer, or sell any live dog or cat in any pet store, retail business, or other commercial establishment.”

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