Animal Welfare

Dallas City Council to Vote on Banning Dog and Cat Sales by Businesses

Animal advocates say puppies will be protected by a proposed ordinance.
Animal advocates say puppies will be protected by a proposed ordinance. Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash
On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council is scheduled to vote on an item that would ban for-profit businesses from selling dogs and cats.

First proposed in December, the Dallas Humane Pet Stores Ordinance seeks to stop the puppy mill industry and could get violators slapped with a fine of up to $500.

The SPCA of Texas and other animal welfare advocates have come out in support of the measure, WFAA reports. The American Kennel Club, on the other hand, opposes the proposal.

According to the Humane Society, puppy mills “are inhumane high-volume dog breeding facilities that churn out puppies for profit,” places where dogs “are often sick and unsocialized.” When pet stores sell pets, they are usually from puppy mills, the organization says.
click to enlarge Hundreds of cities around the U.S. have banned pet stores from selling dogs and cats. - PATRICK STRICKLAND
Hundreds of cities around the U.S. have banned pet stores from selling dogs and cats.
Patrick Strickland

The ordinance "takes the cruelty of the puppy mills out of the equation, and it stops the puppy-mill pipeline to Dallas," Shelby Bobosky, executive director of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, told the Observer in December.

Petland, the only Dallas store that sells dogs and cats, has said the move would effectively put its store out of business. The store says its pets come from licensed breeders.

Around the country, hundreds of cities have introduced similar rules, including at least nine cities in Texas: Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and The Colony, among others.

The Dallas proposal wouldn’t apply to “an individual who only sells, gives, or otherwise transfers dogs or cats bred by that individual,” the ordinance states.

Throughout the pandemic, Dallas-Fort Worth shelters have seen an uptick in abandoned pets. Struggling with a staffing shortage and more pets on hand, shelters have time and again appealed to potential pet owners to adopt. 
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Patrick Strickland is the news editor at the Dallas Observer. He's a former senior reporter at Al Jazeera English and has reported for the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Politico EU and The New Republic, among others.