How much is that puppy in the window?

Published 9:26 am Monday, August 22, 2011

How much is the puppy in the window? Actually, the question should be, is there a puppy in the window? Whether you agree with it or not, more and more legislation is being passed and introduced to put a stop to selling puppies and kittens in a retail environment.

Pet store opponents have long argued that the puppies they sell are from “puppy mills” and generally are poorly bred, poorly cared for, and over priced.

Some state and city law makers across the country are completely banning sales of puppies and others are cracking down on breeders. In June the Los Angeles City Council adopted a motion to ban the sale of “commercial animal mill-bred” dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits within city limits and to prohibit the operation of such breeders within the city limits.

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While stores will not be able to sell commercially bred animals, they will, under the new law, be able to make shelter animals available for adoption at licensed pet stores.

Also in June, the San Francisco Commission on Animal Control and Welfare began working on an ordinance that would state that pets of all species could be acquired only through pet store adoptions, direct sale by small breeders, or adoption from shelters.

Currently in Ohio, a pet store/kennel bill has been proposed. The bill would require pet stores to provide a 21-day money back guarantee for dog purchases.

Senate Bill 130 also would establish licensing requirements and standards for high-volume dog breeding kennels, dog retailers, and animal rescues.

Cities like Lake Worth, Florida and Rio Rancho, New Mexico have recently adopted ordinances that ban the retail sale of dogs and cats. There are numerous other cities across the country have similar bills pending vote.

Is this a step in the right direction or just another example of Big Brother putting more restrictions on businesses? It is never good for animals to be treated like inventory that you just toss out if it does not sale. Ultimately consumer demand drives what pet stores sale.

Rescues and shelters are flooded with dogs and cats begging for a home. Maybe that is where we should “shop” first.

Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony and Kate Barker are certified pet groomers who own and operate The BARKer Shop in Ironton. For questions, call 740-534-0088.