Pet Sale Bans

Currently, more than 100 communities have passed or are considering pet sale bans that include dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals. Of these, more than 60% have been enacted by communities without any pet stores operating within their jurisdictions, making them gestures meant to “send a message” without any real effect and inflating the claims of ban supporters when advocating for additional pet sale prohibitions. Some of these bans have gone so far as to ban the sale of all animals within their communities.

Pet Sale Bans Have No Effect on Puppy Mills

We’re eager to work with lawmakers to take action against illegal breeding – but outlawing retail pet sales isn’t the answer. Responsible pet stores have nothing to do with puppy mills; they work with regulated and inspected sources who are governed by the Animal Welfare Act, scrutinized by the USDA and often go above and beyond what is required by law. Many are also held accountable to strict state and local regulations. Puppy mills, on the other hand, are bad breeders who operate illegally, evading USDA oversight and using false advertising to dupe customers.

Pet stores aren’t the problem. In fact, fewer than 10% of dogs obtained by Americans each year come from pet stores. A far greater percentage of dogs are unfortunately bought from illegal breeders through unregulated channels where buyers and the animals have few protections.

Banning the sale of pets at pet stores does nothing to stop bad breeders and their puppy mills. Worse than that, it can actually lead unsuspecting buyers to puppy mills and drive responsible breeders out of business. These bans limit pet owners’ options for finding their perfect pets near to home and hurt responsible breeders and pet stores that provide healthy, well-nurtured puppies and contribute to their local communities.

We Need a Better Solution

Puppy mills are illegal, unlicensed breeders – not the regulated, scrutinized breeders that sell to most pet stores. Pet stores are not the problem; puppy mills are. We need a better solution than pet sale bans. We need to work together to ensure that no matter where we get our pets, they come from safe and caring environments.