Clark County bans sale of most pets in stores

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:59 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A year from now you may not be hearing any animal sounds in many Las Vegas valley pet stores.

After months of back and forth, most pet sales were banned in Clark County stores Tuesday morning, however the new law will not go into effect until next year. That includes puppies, cats, bunnies and pigs.

The vote comes as local shelters continue to deal with an increase of animals being brought in.

“I don’t know what the benefit to keeping pet stores open are, nobody needs them,” said a concerned resident.

Passionate testimony on both sides came out before Clark County commissioners for months.

Banning pet stores has also reintroduced rabies, distemper and diseases throughout the U.S.

One owner FOX5 spoke to said he’s been in the industry for 30 years. Many argue stores only get pets from vetted USDA breeders and not puppy mills.

“We haven’t had any violations on our records so it doesn’t make any sense that he would be shutting down stores that are in complete compliance with the law,” said a local pet store owner who did not want to be identified.

Commissioner Michael Naft introduced the ordinance due to the crisis faced at local shelters as the number of animals dumped, surrendered, or given up has swelled with tougher economic times.

But pet stores argue their customers invest time and thousands of dollars and there is little proof, those pets end up in shelters.

Chantelle Subritzky works with animal rescue and visited a pet store Tuesday.

“It’s easy for people to come in here and buy a pet with no commitment,” Subritzky admitted.

“You allow these pet stores to open up 2 years ago and then these owners are locked into these 5-year leases which means they are going to be in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt because they can’t complete their leases,” the unidentified owner added. “I will always care about the pet more than anyone whos making a living off of it.”

“We should work together, and we will be able to find more homes for pets. We will be able to eliminate euthanasia but to blame us for being the problem, that is not correct,” the store owner continued.

This new ban only applies to unincorporated Clark County.

Pet stores will have 1 year to sell all of the animals they have now, then stop for good.

Some in the industry are weighing whether they may take legal action, to stay in business.