Throughout the world, jurisdictions [US: , Canada: , AUS: , UK: ] have passed a ban on the sales of puppies, kittens and sometimes rabbits, ferrets, pigs and other animals in retail stores unless procured from accredited shelters or rescues, also known as "adopt-only" ordinances, including the entire states of California and Maryland in the US; Victoria, Australia; and England, UK.
A Note About New Jersey Bans
(9 New Jersey counties
1 country club)
which include bans in their resolutions of support, though they lack authority over businesses locally. Without the
, the ban count is
Resolution 2015-550, Mercer County, New Jersey
§Restrictions on the Sale of Animals
¶1A. A pet shop may only offer for sale those dogs and cats that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:
a). An animal care facility; or
b). An animal rescue organization
“[The ordinance] discourages and, in fact, prevents the sale of animals brought to our community under the most horrific circumstances that no community should ever condone.”
—Jeff Nash, Camden County, New Jersey, Board Member, 9/2015
A Note About Miami
Miami passed an ordinance on 7/27/17 that limits the sourcing of dogs and cats in retail stores, but allows for local backyard breeders to provide "products" to retail stores. This regulation is similar to one of the earliest strong restrictions tallied, in Sunrise County, Florida.
Since we know that breed-club breeders [e.g., Labrador Breeders of America] are under licensing restrictions to not sell to pet stores, which most of them wouldn’t do anyway, backyard breeders will be allowed to provide stores with pets: a puppy and kitten glut could ensue, stores might increase and a local pet mill problem could proliferate.
As of 3/2019, a search for puppy stores in Miami, unfortunately, bears this out.
We, therefore, have relegated this close-but-no-cigar ordinance to a strong restriction rather than a full ban.
Strong restrictions include ordinances that require pet stores to post breeder information on the cages of pets for sale and do not allow pets from mills that have had a USDA inspection violation in the past 2-5 years, variously. These are next to impossible to enforce, allow for business as usual and are dependent on consumers and watch dog organizations to report violations.
On the upside, when strong restrictions are proven to be repeatedly violated, it leaves a governing council or legislature no choice but to implement a total ban as is the case with the state of Maryland which passed restrictions in May 2016 and a full ban in April 2018.
If the jurisdictions with strong restrictions [US: , Canada: ] that are causing puppy stores to close or change to humane are included, the number of international jurisdictions with pet sales bans or strong restrictions is .
Bans With Stores
Jurisdictions cite the reasons for the ordinance as humanitarian/compassionate in nature since animals in puppy and kitten stores are virtually all sourced from large scale breeding operations, a.k.a. "puppy mills." Also frequently cited are issues of fraud as animals sold as pure-bred are sometimes not and animals born from sickly animals in pet mills can cost consumers in veterinarian and training bills. As costs rise, animals are all too frequently turned over to local, tax payer-funded shelters or sold online.
By our count, at least bans have passed injurisdictions that had at least one operating store in them the majority of which were/are effective immediately. Some have limited grandfathering, usually 6 months, though state bans are usually effective in one year as are the 4 countrywide bans in the UK.
Noted on our my_locationGoogle Interactive Map with a red puppy head icon for cities and red location marker for counties.
Rabbit Sales Bans
jurisdictions name rabbits in their bans of retail sales including the state of California. Rabbits are often sourced from the same kind of reprehensible conditions as puppy and kitten mills, where profits are of greater concern than the animals' well-being.
Other Animal Sales Bans
At least jurisdictions name other animals in their retail sales bans including ferret sales bans, long-lived birds, large reptiles and pot-belled pig bans.
Activists and elected officials argue that most animals found in stores are produced by the same pet mill animal suffering paradigm as puppy, kitten and rabbit mills.
Ban Prohibitions and Reversals
Prohibitions of Bans
State laws prohibit local bans.
We include the 2 Arizona and the 2 Ohio jurisdictions because our count is of bans that have passed, including those nullified by legislative (state) act.
Phoenix ban passed
Tempe ban passed
... Before the state legislature prohibited puppy store bans.
Toledo ban passed
Grove City ban passed
Details and jurisdiction information:
In May 2016, the Arizona legislature enacted a law prohibiting local communities from ending animal suffering by passing retail store restriction and ban ordinances, nullifying the 2 local bans that had been passed in Phoenix (12/13) and Tempe (02/16).
In December 2016, Ohio followed suit, nullifying two local bans in Toledo (12/13) and Grove City (03/16).
Both state laws created statewide strong restrictions on all stores, though those measures are ineffective.
Strong Restrictions summary ↑
We count all bans that were passed by community activists and regulatory bodies, therefore the state prohibitions have not altered our count of bans. Our count of bans passed includes the 4 bans passed in Arizona and Ohio.
NB: We have, however, removed from our count the Las Vegas ban passed in January 2016. The city council REVERSED their ban in November 2017.
So far, only
jurisdiction has made this mistake, noted on our
my_location Google Interactive Map ↑
with a black puppy head icon
Resolutions of Support
cities, counties and state departments have issued statements and resolutions of support toencourage other jurisdictionsto pass bans.
Details ↑ ….