How Clark County pet store ban impacts Las Vegas-area breeders

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 4:48 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Clark County voted Tuesday to ban pet store sales of most animals across the county. Pet stores have one year to sell the animals until they have to stop.

The decision has created a whirlwind of emotions for some in the pet industry, including pet breeders.

“I think there is good intention behind it but I am not super optimistic things are going to change,” said Owner of 4E kennels Jeanette Forry. Forry has been breeding dogs for 13 years.

She said while the decision to ban pet store sales is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t change the way breeding and buying is done.

“There are people that have to surrender their dog,” said Forry. “That is just the reality. Will we always need rescue groups and shelters, absolutely but if we were buying or adopting responsibly, that dog should always have a place to go back from where they came from.”

The vote by county commissioners comes as local shelters continue to deal with an increase in pets being brought in. Supporters said backyard breeders and puppy mills around the country often look to pet stores for their profits, but pet store owners argue against this claiming their sources are from USDA- inspected breeders.

“We are actually the highest regulated pet source in the industry,” said a pet store owner who did not want to be identified.

For some pet store owners, this is their livelihood, and this change could cost them thousands of dollars.

“You allow these pet stores to open up 2 years ago and then these owners are locked in to 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,” said Forry.

We reached out to Clark County to ask if they have plans to help address this issue with leases and to ask what happens to the pets in pets stores if they are still in there after the one year deadline but are still waiting to hear back.