A federal judge in Phoenix, Arizona upheld an ordinance, originally passed by the Phoenix City Council in 2013, banning retail sales of dogs and cats in stores unless the pets come from animal shelters or nonprofit rescues. This is fantastic news for numerous reasons:
- It will drastically cut down on the number of shelter animals that are euthanized
- It gives puppy mills a giant middle finger as it’s sure to put a major dent in the cruel industry‘s profits
- There is finally some awesome news out of Arizona
This puts Phoenix in great company as it is one of 60 U.S. cities passing ordinances aimed at curtailing puppy mill businesses and the number of dogs living (and dying) in shelters – other cities include Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago and San Diego.
While animal rescue groups would like to see this enacted immediately, certain pet stores are putting up a fight. One being Puppies N’ Love, whose owners are claiming they don’t buy and sell dogs from puppy mills, but rather breeders who are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and small breeders with few females. The attorney representing Puppies N’ Love said they have until August 24 to decide on an appeal. He also said that the city of Phoenix has agreed to not enforce the law until a decision is made on the appeal.
Maureen Beyers, a Phoenix attorney representing the Humane Society of the United States in the case, welcomed the ruling. “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,” said Beyers, one of the Osborn Maledon attorneys who worked on the case.
The court ruling outlined how many dogs and other animals were taken into Maricopa County-run animal shelters and how many ended up being put down. Court documents found that last year, county animal shelters took in more than 38,200 animals, with 34,000 of those being dogs. The county found homes for close to 11,400 of those dogs, returned just under 4,200 to owners and transferred to 12,100 to rescue group and no-kill organizations. Still, the county ended up euthanizing close to 10,200 dogs, according to the court records.
Hopefully Puppies ‘N Love (and other puppy pimps and puppy slangers) just give in to the ordinance, so that puppy mills and overcrowded shelters will finally be a thing of the past.
Phoenix should be given numerous high-fives for working on getting this passed. However, no ruling yet on how they’ll treat a chihuahua that crosses the border.