The state of Texas has gradually joined the ranks of five other U.S. states that have banned the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores. The new ordinance went into effect on November 11, 2022. It was passed in May and allows for a penalty of up to $500 per violation. Dallas is the last large city in the state to enact the regulation. People advocating for the Humane Pet Store Ordinance have voiced their opinions that taking these steps will help reduce support for puppy mills that keep female dogs as breeders penned and pregnant.
“The ordinance will help stop hundreds of puppies from being shipped in from out-of-state puppy mills and sold to unsuspecting consumers,” noted Stacy Sutton Kerby, director of government relations for the Texas Humane Legislation Network.
Puppy mills have gained a reputation for inhumane practices that include filthy housing conditions where brood bitches, as they’re referred to, are often discarded or abandoned on the streets once their usefulness is over. They are frequently found wandering in abysmal conditions from years of overbreeding and end up at shelters and rescues. In addition to their own poor health, the health of their offspring is often in question as they make their way to pet stores and into the homes of unsuspecting buyers.
Dogs have become a way to make a quick buck by people looking for easy money without regard for the animals’ health or happiness.
Due to a lack of spay and neutering, thousands of unplanned puppies and kittens are born each year in every state. If they’re lucky, these helpless creatures end up at shelters and rescues to hopefully find forever homes, but many aren’t so fortunate and end up dead. More and more big box stores specializing in pet products now allow rescues to take part in regularly scheduled adoption events that occur onsite. What most people don’t realize is that animal welfare facilities have plenty of puppies and kittens that need homes, not just adult animals.
Another thing many folks aren’t taking into consideration is the number of senior pets that also need rehoming. They are consistently among the highest portion of overlooked animals within the homeless population, and they have every bit as much love to give, if not more. Animal advocates are begging people to please consider giving a senior pet a second chance at happiness in a forever home. At the very least, they’re hoping citizens will foster them so that they don’t have to spend time in stressful shelter situations until someone adopts them.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
Melissa Webber, director of Dallas Animal Services (DAS), stated, “It was a genuine community effort that started with Dallas animal advocates and quickly garnered support from DAS and the City Council.” Advocates of the recent ban say it will also help protect customers from having to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on animals that are already sick when purchased, not to mention the emotional toll it can take once an attachment has formed. Webber went on to add that she’s hopeful more individuals and families will choose adoption over shopping for a pet and noted that an estimated 20 percent of shelter animals are, in fact, purebreds.
It is expected that more and more states will follow suit with this banning trend as they continue to make the news.Whizzco