Many shelters and animal rescue groups have worked long and hard to get cities to implement laws such as these in order to cut the profits from puppy mills and provide homes for the thousands of dogs currently living in shelters.
Just last week a Federal Judge in Phoenix, Arizona upheld a city law that requires all dogs sold in pet stores to come from animal shelters.
This seems to be a current trend across cities in the U.S., as Phoenix joins about 60 others with similar laws, all designed to get dogs out of the shelters and into homes, and put an end to the unjustly profitable puppy mills. Missisauga, Ontario recently joined two other Canadian cities (Richmond, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario) in banning the sale of cats and dogs at pet stores.
What Are Puppy Mills?
If you aren’t familiar with the term “puppy mill,” it is defined as an establishment that breeds puppies, generally of a pure breed, for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions which are usually regarded as inhumane. Shockingly, puppy mills are not illegal in most cases. A breeding kennel can legally keep hundreds of dogs in cages for their entire lives as long as the dogs are given the essentials for survival: food, water and shelter.
It is estimated that 23,000 dogs are sold in Phoenix area pet stores alone. Dogs who are living in shelters can spend months or even years waiting to be adopted, and in many cases end up being euthanized because of lack of space and monetary support for veterinary needs.
As word gets around, many cities across the U.S. and Canada are enforcing laws to ban the sale of cats and dogs and opting for adoption only, with the animals coming directly from city shelters and rescues. This gives the animals a much higher success rate of being adopted and over time will dramatically lessen the amount of stray animals, get them off the streets, and put an end to unnecessary euthanization.
What Can You Do?
This may be one of those situations that you feel is completely out of your control, but actually, there is a lot you can do to assist with the banning of pets for sale in pet stores. First of all, consider spreading this information to your friends and family. You can contact your city councilor and bring this information to their attention; many people are simply unaware of the depth of this issue. You can collect signatures, start a Facebook group, and contact your local animal shelters to get them on board with you. If need be, you can boycott all pet stores that sell pets and encourage others to do the same.
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