Some groups have lobbied communities across the country to pass pet sale bans with the mistaken belief that such laws will eliminate puppy mills. They believe that making it illegal to purchase dogs and cats, and even rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals from pet stores will put unscrupulous breeders out of business. In reality, these bans only make things worse by eliminating the most highly regulated and scrutinized option for purchasing a pet.
Pet stores are required by Federal law to obtain dogs from USDA-licensed sources. Pet stores cannot obtain dogs from large-scale, illegally operated, inhumane sources. But these Federal laws only apply to pet stores, not to other sellers.
The truth is retail pet store bans actually increase the likelihood that families will obtain a pet from an illegal, unregulated seller and/or acquire a pet that is not an appropriate fit for their lifestyle, making it more likely that the pet will end up in a shelter.