Think it’ll catch on here? C’me on! They do it in the States!
[quote]Buying an adorable puppy or kitten at your local pet store may become a thing of the past, if more American cities join a small but growing movement to ban retail pet sales.
West Hollywood, Calif., became the latest city to put a leash on pet sales in February, when its city council unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting sales of dogs and cats in retail stores. Albuquerque, N.M., and South Lake Tahoe, Calif., have also banned pet sales. Other cities in Florida, New Mexico, Missouri and elsewhere are considering similar bans on the sale of dogs and cats.
Animal advocates say pet store sales fuel the puppy mill industry, where dogs are bred and raised in cramped, unhealthy and inhumane conditions. They have similar concerns about “kitten factories,” which are a smaller but growing problem. Efforts to crack down on animal mills have been hindered by limited enforcement resources, so ban proponents are shifting their focus from the supply side to the demand. Far better, they say, to adopt from a local shelter or buy directly from a reputable breeder.
“People have got to wake up to the fact that [most] dogs coming from pet stores are coming from puppy mills,” said Mary Jo Dazey, a stay-at-home mom from St. Louis, Mo., who has been working to shut down puppy mills in her state for several years.
There are no official statistics on how many pet-store dogs come from puppy mills. Between 2 million and 4 million dogs are born in U.S. puppy mills every year, according to the Humane Society of the United States, and many of those dogs do end up in pet stores — in addition to being sold over the internet, through newspaper classifieds and in other venues.
“Every time we do a pet store investigation [after a complaint], we find that puppy mills are the suppliers,” said Stephanie Shain, senior director of the Humane Society of the United States’ puppy mills campaign.
Shain said she believes that if animal-lovers became better educated, they wouldn’t want to buy from pet stores that may be supplied by puppy mills.
Public sentiment does, in fact, seem to be veering away from pet store animals. A recent poll by the Associated Press-Petside.com found that more than half of those surveyed planned to get their next cat or dog from a shelter, seven times the number who said they’d buy from a pet store. And four in 10 said they thought store pets could have hidden physical or psychological problems due to overbreeding or other issues.