December 2, 2015 | Erin | 8 Comments Just Say No To Pet Stores In august of this year, the City Council of Beverly Hills, CA passed an ordinance that states that pet stores can no longer sell animals that have been commercially bred. This means that the owners of pet stores can only offer pets that have come from rescue groups and shelters. More than 80 other jurisdictions across the United States and Canada have followed suit and have penned their own laws. This effort is aimed at stopping “puppy mills” where it is estimated that as many as 2,000,000 puppies and kittens are born each year into horrific conditions for the sole purpose of commercial sale in pet stores, flea markets and on the internet. Why You Should Say No The ordinance will not have any effect on breeders supplying animals for internet and direct sales, but it does bring awareness to the plight of dogs and cats produced in puppy mills. The goal of the Beverly Hills city Council is to curb sales and to get people to think about where these pets come from. Critics of pet stores believe that since they generally sell only puppies and kittens, they are needlessly adding to the pet population while countless animals are in shelters waiting to be adopted. The Humane Society of the United States applauds the legislation as it is a step towards ensuring a humane start to life for pets and it hopes to see an end to the euthanasia of 1,000’s of animals annually. What The Future Holds There are reputable breeders though that treat animals well and some feel that the new laws do not distinguish the good from the bad. For the pet store owners who support the stopping of puppy mills and who only sell pets supplied by upstanding breeders, this has had a significant impact on their business. We are now seeing challenges to recent legislation, the first of which came from Phoenix. A pet store owner sued the city on the grounds that the new ordinance was not constitutional and that it was discriminating against all out-of-state-breeders. The judge in this case up held the ordinance and it is felt that many more battles are yet to be fought in the matter of animal welfare and the pet store industry. It is important to note that The Humane Society has developed a conversion program for pet stores that ensures the availability of animals for pet stores that want them and that more than 4,500 animals have been adopted as a result.