Pet stores, animal rescue advocates debate sales of popular pets in Clark County
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Numerous pet store owners and animal welfare advocates spoke before the Clark County Commission on a proposal to ban popular pet sales in local stores.
After FOX5 told you about Commissioner Michael Naft’s proposal for pet stores within Clark County, stores told FOX5 that they organized a public campaign to speak out against the ban.
“It’s past time we take some action here,” Naft said, noting the surge in the number of pet stores across the Valley. The shift has occurred since cities in California and other West Coast states banned the sales of dogs, cats, rabbits and pigs in pet stores.
The proposal was heralded by the Animal Foundation, which currently has 838 pets in its shelter. Last year, at the same time, the shelter had 667 animals in its care.
“There is plenty of adoptable animals, and encouraging people to adopt and not shop is the thing to do... we know that there are issues with puppy mills as sources for some pet stores,” said CEO Hilarie Grey, who noted that numerous designer and high-end breeds end up in the shelters even as puppies. The foundation has a three-day fee waiver event this weekend, to help pets get adopted before July 4, which often sees an influx of dogs.
Numerous pet store owners and workers spoke out against the ban, telling county leaders that they are being unfairly classified as irresponsible businesses and “backyard breeders,” explaining why they scrutinize the source of their pets.
“We’re the little man. Our dogs that we sell are microchipped. I would love for us to sit down, run the numbers. Let’s see if these animals at the Animal Foundation, local rescues are part of our animals,” said Trevor Duggan, owner of Puppy World.
“I think ultimately we have the same goal here, to eliminate bad breeding, keep the animals off the streets. We have a very high buying standard. We only go through USDA-certified breeders,” said Vanessa Greene, a Petland employee.
“There’s no evidence that a pet sale ban eliminates a single puppy mill. The exact opposite is true. Bans are pushing families to buy their pets over the internet, flea markets, or unregulated pet stores, a space without any oversight of consumer protection,” said Diana Kirkland of Petland Henderson.
The Clark County Commission will initiate a business impact survey, and then create public hearings for a possible county ordinance.
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