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Las Vegas Repeals Ban on Retail Pet Store Puppy Sales

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When it comes to animal welfare and protection laws in this country, it always seems to be two steps forward followed by a heartbreakingly painful step back. Last week, while Pennsylvania lawmakers were taking measures to protect pets from harsh winter weather, Las Vegas city council members voted to repeal a ban on retail pet store puppy sales, 99% of which come from puppy mills.

Pet Store

The Las Vegas City Council originally passed a ban on the retail sale of non-rescued dogs, cats, and pot-bellied pigs in January of 2016. Under the ban, retail stores could only source pets for sale from approved rescue organizations and shelters and place them for adoption in the retail environment. Consumers wishing to buy a non-rescued pet could still purchase directly from breeders.

The ban, which was scheduled to go into effect on January 6, 2018, would only have affected two stores within the city – Puppy Boutique at Rancho Drive and a Petland store at Rampart Boulevard.

But, less than two months before the ban took effect, city council members voted again, this time to repeal the ban and continue to allow stores within the city to procure and sell animals from large-scale commercial breeders, better known as puppy and kitten mills.

Pet Store

After more than two hours of public comment – largely in favor of keeping the ban in place – city council members voted 4 to 3 in favor of repealing the ban.

Pet store owners argued that the ban violated consumer rights, forcing them to adopt rescued animals whose background and health history may be largely unknown, ignoring the fact that 99% of puppies sold in retail store environments are sourced from large-scale commercial breeding operations.

The Humane Society explains that responsible breeders do not sell their puppies to pet stores because they want to meet their puppy buyers in person—and a majority of national breed clubs’ Codes of Ethics prohibit or discourage their members from selling their dogs to pet stores. The suppliers of pet store puppies are largely “puppy mills,” commercial facilities that mass-produce puppies for sale. In these breeding facilities, “mother dogs remain locked in cages their whole lives and have half the life expectancy of the average dog. Twenty percent of their puppies don’t even make it to stores. They die in terrible conditions. And the ones who do get sold often have undisclosed health issues.”

Pet stores argue that their puppies and kittens come from “USDA licensed” breeders, painting an unrealistic portrait for potential buyers. In reality, the USDA has repeatedly asserted that their regulations and standards are minimum requirements for the animals’ survival, NOT humane care standards.

So, while retail stores can continue to procure and sell puppies, kittens, and pot-bellied pigs from commercial breeders, those stores cannot thrive if consumers armed with the facts don’t buy them. Instead, those looking to add to their family should visit local shelters and rescue organization OR buy directly from a reputable breeder, not from a pet store.

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  1. Avatar Of David Eisemann

    David Eisemann


    Sounds like it’s time for a boycott!

  2. Avatar Of Diane



    You are free to publish…I am shocked, disappointed and disgusted concerning the Las Vegas decision to list the ban
    Someone should send them a video of dirty, sick breeding dogs in the cold warehouse or frying out side in cages in warm weather, birthing and dying early in the most torturous conditions,,what kind of a started allows this, Take a look at all,the info on the Humane Associate. Website this os cruelty at it’s finest…do the right thing and re instate the ban…please list the names, party and position of the persons that voted to lift the ban, I,will start a petition to have them dismissed

  3. Las Vegas, for shame! It just came down to the almighty dollar, eh? I hope you can sleep at night, knowing these two stores can now continue to sell puppies that were taken away from diseased, stressed mommas who are treated like breeding machines. Disgusting.

  4. Avatar Of Debbie Gann

    Debbie Gann


    It’s Las Vegas not a center for wisdom or brains and this repeal proves this all the more about the brain stem morons who can do such a thing to poor innocent animals. All pet stores should be banned from this germ ridden place.

    Have to keep fighting to stop this and educated people just how awful all of this is.

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