Dallas joins a dozen-plus Texas cities in banning sales of puppy mill pets
A new animal ordinance approved by the Dallas City Council in May goes into effect November 11. Called the humane pet store ordinance, it forbids pet stores in Dallas from selling puppies or kittens from commercial breeders.
Dallas joins Austin, Bryan, College Station, El Paso, Euless, Fort Worth, Houston, New Braunfels, Pasadena, San Antonio, The Colony, Sherman, and Waco among Texas cities that have passed similar ordinances.
The ordinance was recommended by the Dallas Animal Shelter (DAS), as well as groups such as Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN), which works to promote better treatment of animals.
In Dallas, it affects only one store: Petland. Other pet store chains such as PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, Petco, Odyssey, The Upper Paw, Pet Supermarket, and Uptown Pup do not sell puppies or kittens.
Dallas has only one Petland store, at 11909 Preston Rd. #1428 - one that's been plagued by criminal activity including repeated thefts. The chain has been the target of protests for more than a decade and the subject of repeated investigations by the Humane Society of the United States.
The Dallas ordinance is Sec. 7-4.5 "SALE OF DOGS AND CATS" and says that it's "an offense to sell, exchange, barter, give away, transfer, or offer or advertise for sale, a dog or cat four months of age or older unless the dog or cat is currently vaccinated or cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons as verified by a licensed veterinarian, and the person has a current registration receipt and registration tag for the dog or cat."
The only exceptions are animal services, an animal welfare organization, or an animal adoption agency, who charge adoption fees.
“The ordinance will help stop hundreds of puppies from being shipped in from out-of-state puppy mills and sold to unsuspecting consumers,” said Stacy Sutton Kerby, Director of Government Relations at THLN. “We applaud the Dallas City Council for recognizing the importance of halting the sale of commercially-bred animals in retail pet stores."
Over the years, the THLN helpline has regularly received complaints about Dallas retail stores selling sick or unhealthy puppies. Ending the sale of commercially-bred puppies and kittens in retail pet stores will encourage consumers to acquire puppies or kittens from a reputable breeder or shelter, both of which provide full health history, age, and vaccination information.
"Dallas Animal Services is excited to see the Humane Pet Store Ordinance go into effect,” said MeLissa Webber, Director of Dallas Animal Services. “It was a genuine community effort that started with Dallas animal advocates and quickly garnered support from DAS and the City Council. With shelters all over the metroplex struggling with capacity, we are hopeful that more families looking to add another pet to their home will choose to adopt, not shop. After all, there are incredible pets available to adopt at Dallas Animal Services and an estimated 20% of pets in shelters are purebred."