Dallas must stop pet stores from selling dogs

The Humane Pet Stores Ordinance under consideration by the Dallas City Council is a direct response to the myriad of animal welfare and consumer protection issues created by the sale of puppy mill puppies in the pet stores.

His endorsement would end this practice and lead people toward better, more humane choices for dog acquisition, such as shelter and shelter adoption or acquiring an animal from a responsible small breeder.

By taking this step, Dallas would completely dissociate itself from the influx of puppies from distant mass-breeding facilities that treat mother dogs like mere machines and their puppies like mere products.

Dallas is the only major city in Texas without a puppy and pet store policy. Ten other cities in Texas, and 400 localities and five states across the country, have solved the problem. This includes Houston, where the city council recently approved a similar ordinance.

These communities acted for the same reasons Dallas should: it’s simply time we shut down the pipeline from the puppy mill to the pet store, to do good for animals, protect consumers, and provide support and morale. needed by shelters and overwhelmed rescue groups.

Across America, the once commonplace sale of puppies in retail stores is falling out of favor. Among other factors, the responsible federal agency has shown time and time again that it cannot compel commercial breeders to meet humane standards.

United States Department of Agriculture regulations allow breeding dogs to spend their entire lives in cramped, filthy wire cages only six inches larger than their bodies. Mother female dogs can be bred repeatedly until their bodies wear out, at which time they are disposed of as trash.

Worse still, when breeders fail to meet these most basic standards, they are rarely penalized with any degree of severity. In the past four years, the USDA has revoked only one breeder’s license.

Responses to public records requests made by my organization demonstrate that puppies born into such disturbing conditions are ending up in Dallas. These archives tell the stories of hundreds of dogs confined in decrepit cages; dogs forced to stand on painful wire floor; dogs exposed to extreme temperatures; and dog breeders unaware of serious veterinary concerns.

It’s time for Dallas to do its part to end this cruelty and enact the Humane Pet Store ordinance. This common-sense policy is backed by dozens of local animal welfare organizations and Dallas-area veterinarians who routinely treat pet store puppies.

It’s also backed by disappointed consumers who want to make sure no other family suffers the heartache it caused them after they unknowingly bought sick puppies, some of whom died shortly after purchase at home. pet Shop.

The market will take over once the humane pet stores ordinance is enacted, driving the local pet market and Dallas consumers to more humane sources like shelters and rescues, which really need our support in this time, and to responsible breeders who only sell directly to the public. , and never in pet stores.

We can and must accelerate the transition from our city’s only puppy-selling pet store to a humane business model focused on pet products and services, the very model that has already been adopted by the most successful players in the world. pet industry.

Lauren Loney is the Texas director of the Humane Society of the United States. She wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

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