Dec 17, 2021 - News

Dallas could ban dog, cat sales in pet stores

A dog is rescued from a puppy mill
A Great Pyrenees is saved from a puppy mill in Arkansas. Photo: Lance Murphey/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States

City leaders may ban dog and cat sales in pet stores, a move that would slow a system that rewards bad breeders for pumping out puppies.

Why it matters: Hundreds of animals are transported into Dallas from out-of-state puppy mills each year, many just 8 weeks old and sick.

Context: Nine Texas cities already have such bans on the books, including Austin and Fort Worth, and Dallas supported legislation that would've created a similar prohibition statewide.

Meanwhile, Dallas Animal Services is trying to find homes for 90% of the dogs and cats it takes in each year.

  • A ban on pet store sales would "support Dallas Animal Services by moving the local pet market towards shelters and rescues," according to a presentation this month at the quality of life, arts and culture committee.

Of note: Pet ownership has increased during the pandemic to an estimated 70% of U.S. households, according to results of a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association.

What they're saying: Americans spend billions on their pets each year.

  • "No pet store has to sell puppies in order to be a successful business," Lauren Loney, the state director of the Humane Society of the United States, told council members during a recent briefing.

What's next: The city's animal advisory commission will be briefed on a ban in January and the full City Council may vote on the ordinance in February.

Our thought bubble: Adopt, don't shop.

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