Banning the Retail Sale of Dogs & Cats


A Federal Judge in Rhode Island has upheld a local law that bans the sale of dogs and cats from pet stores. Pet stores in the city are now only allowed to adopt out rescued animals from shelters and rescue groups with which they partner. The law was passed based on concerns about the treatment of dogs in puppy mills and in order to increase the number of rescued animals in need of homes who find them. It also strikes to the heart of so much animal suffering: their commodification. When there is profit to be made on the backs of animals, history shows that those backs are often strained and broken.

Specifically, the law makes it “unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer, or sell any live dog or cat” in a commercial establishment. But it allows pet stores to provide “space and appropriate care for animals owned by a city animal shelter or animal control agency, humane society, or non-profit rescue organization and maintain those animals at the pet store retail business or other commercial establishment for the purpose of public adoption.”

A pet store which bought its dogs from commercial breeders in other states sued and lost. The decision is here.

See also how shelter killing itself benefits puppy mills by clicking here. The combination of this kind of legislation and shelter reform  would go a long way to protecting animals and saving more lives.


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