10 reasons to ban commercially bred pet sales

The Tempe City Council is holding public hearings on an ordinance to prohibit the sale of pets bred in commercial-breeding facilities. Our proposed ordinancerepresents a compassionate, common-sense initiative to address the problems associated with the sale of pet mill animals in our community.

The hearings are Thursday, Jan. 28, and Thursday, Feb. 11.

Tempe should restrict the retail sale of dogs and cats, unless the pets come from shelters or rescue groups. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Commercial breeding facilities, commonly referred to as puppy mills, are the exclusive suppliers of commercial pet stores. Reputable, nonprofit, hobby breeders do not sell puppies to commercial pet stores.
  2. Currently, there is no effective mechanism for regulating puppy mills, as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards of care for breeding dogs are shockingly low, inspections are sporadic and violations are widely unenforced.
  3. Puppies from commercial breeders are statistically more likely to have genetic abnormalities, as well as serious ongoing health and behavioral problems.
  4. Pet store puppies are typically sold significantly above the price charged by reputable breeders and without the pedigrees and health testing that come with reputable breeders.
  5. Many pet store puppies are paid for through in-house financing that comes with high interest rates and finance charges, typically adding upwards of $1,000 to the puppy’s final price.
  6. Our residents have reported being misled or given blatantly false information about the source, health, pedigree and quality of the puppies in pet stores, as well as about the health guarantee.
  7. The City of Tempe has no realistic jurisdiction over breeding practices or the welfare of commercially bred animals, as most puppy mills are from out of state, but the city does have an obligation to protect residents from fraudulent or misleading business practices.
  8. The proposed ordinance does not ban pet stores altogether, just the sale of commercially bred puppies. Pet store owners may choose to shift to a sustainable business model offering rescued dogs and cats, as many stores have done.
  9. The proposed ordinance places no limit on a private citizen’s right to purchase a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder of their choice, either locally or nationally. The ordinance would eliminate the store’s ability to target impulse buyers and instead encourage prospective pet buyers to do the minimal research required to find and purchase their breed of choice.
  10. More than 110 cities have passed similar bans and puppy mills are finding it more difficult to secure buyers. Eliminating commercial pet sales within local jurisdictions lessens the overall national demand for puppy-mill puppies and has already begun to reduce the number of active puppy mills across the country.

 

A ban on the sale of puppy mill puppies has also been shown to lower the euthanasia rates of dogs and cats in the local shelters of cities that have put this ordinance in place.
It’s ultimately the taxpayers who pay for animal control to shelter and euthanize animals that would otherwise make wonderful pets.

Adopting a rescue pet saves a life and helps stop the cruelty present in so many commercial-breeding facilities. To protect animals and consumers, Tempe is considering a Commercial Pet Sales Ordinance. To voice your opinion to the City Council before the Feb. 11 vote, email: councilcommunicator@tempe.gov.

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