Sandy City seeking to prohibit puppy sales in pet stores

A newborn puppy at Loving Angel Service Dogs in St. George, Utah, November 2017 | Photo courtesy of Loving Angel Service Dogs, St. George News

SANDY, Utah – Sandy City Council members will discuss a proposed ordinance Tuesday evening, banning future pet stores from selling puppies and other baby animals.

The city hopes to encourage a more humane adoption model, where animals are rescued from shelters and rescue groups, rather than from for-profit stores.

If passed, the law will not prevent existing pet stores from selling puppies; it will ensure future stores that open are not able to sell the animals.

The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) said it supports the ordinance and hopes it will encourage other cities to implement similar rules, and people to purchase rescue animals.

“Recently, a puppy store sought to open in Sandy City and was met with opposition and protest from the community,” said Gene Baierschmidt, HSU executive director. “The store has since opened in West Jordan. We hope that more cities and counties pass a pet store ordinance like this.”

The HSU stated that it hoped pet stores would help become part of the “overpopulation solution rather than part of the problem.”

“Pet stores do not obtain dogs from responsible breeders because responsible breeders do not sell puppies to pet stores,” said Baierschmidt.

The HSU said that ninety-six percent of national breeder clubs include statements on their code of ethics that say breeders should not sell the animals to pet stores.

“A responsible breeder will invite you to their home to see the puppy’s parents, living conditions, and answer questions about their health because they have invested a lot of time and money into their care,” said Baierschmidt. “Why would responsible breeders send their puppies to a store for someone else to profit from when they can sell directly themselves?”

The proposed ordinance will be discussed Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. during the Sandy City Council meeting.