Last Week, Phoenix, Arizona passed legislature that is aimed at shutting down puppy mills in their state by mandating that the pet stores that still sell living animals only offer animals from adoptable rescues. This new legislature comes after a 2013 ordinance that banned pet stores from stocking puppies and kittens from private breeders.
Puppy and kitten mills breed pets for profit. Who doesn't want a cute young puppy or furry kitten, right? Unfortunately, the pets are bred for profit with the breeders often sacrificing the health and well-being of both the pets that are sold and their parents. While the young pets may or may not find a good home, the breeding parents will be locked in a cage for most of their life with little to no human affection. Some of these mills operate within USDA standards, while others are completely off the radar. However, with such cruel practices and so many animals out there that need owners already, it is plain to see why this once-booming business needs to stop.
The Humane Society of the United States, along with animal lovers and activists, celebrated this new decision in Phoenix. However, not everyone was cheering. Owners of pet stores like Frank and Vicki Mineo, who own the Puppies 'N Love pet chain, plan to appeal the ruling. They insist that the requirements unfairly hurt their business which buys their puppies and kittens from USDA-licensed breeders.
Regardless, Phoenix, Arizona is not the first major city in the United States to adopt this stance. With this ruling, they joined a proud list of 59 cities that only allow adoptions from rescue organizations in their pet stores. Some of the first cities to adopt this law in Virginia and South Carolina have already seen a marked drop in shelter populations, which provides better care for the pets that remain.