Pets are winning, and so is the organic movement to limit sales of dogs and cats at pet stores.
No matter what you are told, responsible breeders never sell to pet stores. Ever.
So, who is selling to the pet stores? Puppy mills do – often through third party brokers.
The Puppy Mill Project, and local residents in communities all across the U.S. (and Canada) have had enough. So, in many communities sales of dogs and cats from pet stores have been banned, over 200 cities and more to come.
At first the pet store industry tried to fight these ordinances that limit sales of dogs and cats by going to court. But the courts struck down their efforts swiftly.
So, now the pet store industry with the American Kennel Club (AKC), have attempted to fight these laws already passed legislatively, and in a tricky way.
Am so happy Tennessee saw through the smoke screen.
Here’s what’s happening: The pet store industry and AKC are going state to state. They’re looking at each state’s current pet store laws, and seemingly giving consumers rights. In Illinois it’s a pro-microchip bill. But hidden inside these apparent animal protection laws are making it legal that pet stores sell dogs and cats, never allowing cities in a state to ban sales of dogs and cats, and any laws that have been passed in a state (in a community) that have limited pet store sales will no longer be valid.
Illinois is still considering one such proposal in a State Senate Committee. However, the fervor caused by the proposal in Illinois has spread awareness in Tennessee and in Georgia, and elsewhere. And in Tennessee and Georgia the efforts to assuage the pet store industry have now failed. Ironically, there was just a major puppy mill bust in Georgia. One argument from an Illinois supporter, “Puppy mills don’t exist because we don’t have a definition for them.” Watch this video from the Georgia bust and see if you still could ever believe this.
The Tennessee Retail Pet Store Consumer Protection Act claimed to protect consumers when buying dogs and cats from pet stores. The would have created “new rights” when buying a pet from a pet store. The legislation states that no animal can be sold younger than eight weeks old and if a pet is sick under certain conditions a pet store will reimburse an owner for pet bills. This legislation sounds good – except that no pets should ever be sold at pet stores in the first place. Period.
Still, what’s most important is the very last paragraph of the bill. It said enacting the law pre-empts any local ordinances and prohibits governments or agencies from enacting or enforcing local laws (to limit pet store sales).
Aside from allowing pet stores to sell animals (from puppy mills), this law would have allowed for road-side sales once again, which were previously banned in the state.
In this video, Tennessee State Representative Becky Massey says it all…. the goal of the bill is to protect consumers and pet stores, “We have a business that is going to be coming to our state, and in some other states there have been some local regulations passed that made some of the business people lose money.”
At the end of the day, puppy mills continue to thrive in the U.S. due to:
- pet store sales
- auctions/roadside dealers
- online sales
What’s more the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state departments of agriculture, which are supposed to oversee dog breeding facilities, are understaffed. Their inspections are often lackluster. And now – due to new rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the public can’t even easily see inspection reports.
And theres big money involved, as the pet store industry and AKC (presumably pet loving?) continue to press for these preemptive laws which roll back ordinances where city’s have banned sales of dogs/cats at pet stores.
So, what’s the AKC’s deal?
HERE, an AKC spokesperson answers – wait ’till you read this….. their position in Illinois of ultimately supporting puppy mill sales (though they say they don’t see it that way).
And HERE certified animal behavior consultant Abigail Whitthauer offers her perspective of the AKC. And she knows, she’s been involved in the dog world since she was a kid, though in recent years her perspective has changed drastically.