Arizona is a lead for making it illegal for pet stores to sell dogs and cats that are not from a shelter or rescue. Lawmakers in Beverly Hills also followed Arizona in this wonderful step and prohibits pet stores from selling commercially bred animals.
A federal judge in Phoenix, Arizona just ruled that all dogs and cats sold in pet stores must come from animal shelters or non-profit organizations. The ruling upholds an ordinance passed in 2013 that was challenged by a store called Puppies N’Love, which claimed it violates constitutionally-granted interstate commerce laws. Those in favor of doing away with puppy mills and encouraging pet owners to adopt or rescue companions see the decision as a great step forward.
Phoenix is one of about 60 cities in the United States that have similar laws in place to put an end to puppy mills by driving potential pet buyers toward homeless animals and reputable breeders.
With an estimated 23,000 dogs sold in Phoenix area pet stores every year, this law will no doubt benefit many animals’ lives. Shelter dogs can spend months or even years waiting for adoption so mandates like this can cut that wait time in half and reduce overcrowding in shelters.
Said Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelma Williams, “We have so many dogs in Arizona that need homes, we don’t need to import them.”
The Phoenix Business Journal reports that certain pet stores, including Puppies N’ Love have challenged the ordinance. However, it is “not [the court’s] place to judge the wisdom or fairness of the city’s decision to pass the ordinance,” said the U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell.
Said Maureen Beyers, a Phoenix-Based attorney representing the Humane Society of the United States:
“The ruling is a great victory, not just for the city of Phoenix, but also for the Humane Society of the United States, which has worked tirelessly to help municipalities throughout the U.S. enact these laws (and defend challenges to them) to stem the trade of puppy and kitten mill animals and decrease animal euthanasia and overpopulation.”
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