Why we dropped Fountain, CO & Mamaroneck, NY

We’ve long been skeptical of a ban in Fountain, Colorado.

At first it was easy to believe the small town of 25,000 simply hadn’t updated their online municipal code which doesn’t mention the ordinance, though it was believed to have passed in 9/2011. One wonders how law and order is done if there’s no code to prove an infraction against.

There is an 2011 article mentioning the passage in passing, and an unsigned copy of an ordinance online at a non-related site.

But the most telling tell-tale sign: there has been at least one store in Fountain, Colorado, Valley Pets, which has been operating uninterrupted for 37 years to date. According to their YP and BBB pages.


Valley pups might have recently closed. Their Facebook page hasn’t been updated since August 19, 2019. Their phone number is still active, but in 10 calls placed to (719) 390-4583, we only ever got a “mailbox full” recording.

Most recent post on Valley Pets FB page from 8/19/2019.

Nonetheless, it appears to have operated unhindered for the 8 years since the ban purportedly was passed.

And there’s this Denver Post article.

Berthoud first in Colorado to ban sale of puppy mill dogs

Presumably the journalists at the state’s largest newspaper did their journalistic duty and got an answer from Fountain when we could not. Article

Doesn’t sound to us that the ordinance made it through the 2nd reading. We’ve tried calling the Fountain Colorado Municipal Clerk and have left a dozen messages over the years, none being returned. Like we said, small town of 25,000….

This deletion modified our Bans By Year chart which looked like this before the change:

puppymillfree.us Bans By Year

Mamaroneck, NY

The only evidence we can find for a Mamaroneck ordinance is an 0ff-government-site copy of an unsigned, undated agenda proposal that doesn’t look like it made it to a second, or perhaps even first, reading.

The agenda document sites

Chapter 156 of the Code of the Village of Mamaroneck, Dogs & Other Animals, is amended to add new Section 156-14.1 to new Article VI Pet Dealers and Pet Stores as follows:

§156-14.1 Prohibition on Sale of Commercially Bred Dogs and Cats In Pet Stores

etc….

But a search of Mamaroneck code shows no such chapter. Sometimes in codification chapters get renumbered, so we did a search for “Pet Dealers” and “Pet Stores.” Zero results were returned.

The code “Includes legislation adopted through 06-19-2019.”

Thus, we are also removing Mamaroneck from our New York jurisdictions and total ban count.

2019 reaches average bans per year

We’ve tracked animals sales bans all the way back to 1952. But the movement to end the sale of dogs and cats and sometimes rabbits, ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, long-lived birds and large reptiles didn’t pick up steam until Albuquerque in 2006 and then South Lake Tahoe in 2009.

Pet Sale Bans by Year

We take our average bans per year starting in 2006 where we had 1. It also includes 2009 where we had 1. As you can see in the graph, it also includes banner year 2016 with 103 bans.

We’re a bit late in the year to only reach average. Some years, however, like 2016, saw a majority of their bans enacted in the Autumn including in and around the Thanksgiving holiday and some in December.

The latest ban as of today is in Oveido, Florida, where super hero activist Michelle Lazarow convinced yet another Florida city to pass a ban. She states in an Orlando Sentinel article from July 22, 2019

[Lazarow] doubts the Legislature will pass statewide regulations strong enough to completely ban stores from selling dogs and cats from large commercial breeding operations.

“I would love it, but I don’t see it happening,” she said. “And if they’re not going to do it, then let the cities and counties pass regulations on their own, and on what happens in their backyards.”

Lazarow added that it’s important Oviedo enact the ban before a store that sells dogs and cats from large breeding facilities decides to open in the city.

Orlando Sentinel, 7/22/19

The average bans per year count is found in the bottom row of our graph, “Avg/yr since ’06: 29.”

We’re looking forward to seeing the average bans rise to 30 this year. To do that, bans passed in 2019 need to reach a total of 36. 7 more to go!

Salinas simply won’t go away

The Deep South of the state of California has been trying to rid itself of multiple store owner David Salinas for six years.

San Diego was the first to throw one of his stores out in 2013.

Then Encinitas and San Marcos in 2015.

Then Oceanside and Carlsbad in 2016.

Solana Beach, Vista and Del Mar passed preventive ordinances to make sure he didn’t come there.

Then the great state of California passed a comprehensive ban of retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in October 2017, effective 1/1/19.

But he’s still at it.

Activists have had enough.

National City still has 2 puppy stores open and doing the business of passing on the progeny of tortured, malnourished, sickly, spirit-broken dogs onto unknowing customers for a substantial premium.

Salinas is not going easily into that good night. He surely doesn’t want to let go of his easy money stream so he is hanging on with all his might to the last torn threads surrounding the state’s language loopholes.

But activists are there to virtually tar and feather him every step of the way.

Thank you southern California activists, for leading the way on fighting these stores to the bitter end and showing the rest of the country the steps they might have to take when their states pass a comprehensive retail animal sales ban.

1st Comprehensive Pet Sales Ban Since Flagler Beach, FL, 12/02

Lisle, Illinois, smack-dab in the center of a contentious area where dog, cat and often rabbit bans are passed and sometimes passed over; where the state legislature missed the mark on a statewide ban back at Thanksgiving, 2015, when they were on track for the first statewide ban on the sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in the world, has set a new milestone.

The little village of Lisle has passed the first comprehensive ban on the sale of all animals in retail stores for the first time since Flagler Beach, Florida, back at Christmas, 2002, which reads:

§ 5-17. – Prohibited acts.

(f) Breeding or sale of animals. It shall be unlawful for any person to breed or sell animals, or dispose of such animals for any commercial gain or other commercial purpose within the city.

(Ord. No. 2002-30, § 1(Exh.A), 12-12-02; Ord. No. 2009-11, § 2, 6-25-09; Ord. No. 2009-13, § 5, 8-6-09)

Municipal code

Surfside, Florida also passed a comprehensive sales ban in February 2014.

§90-41. – Regulated uses.
(d)(26)Provided that no animals including without limitation dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, turtles, gerbils, hamsters, cows, horses, sheep, and other domestic animals or livestock shall be sold on the premises.

Municipal code

Flagler Beach, Florida, ended animal sales altogether in 2002.

(f) Breeding or sale of animals. 

It shall be unlawful for any person to breed or sell animals, or dispose of such animals for any commercial gain or other commercial purpose within the city.

Municipal code

A few ordinances have included pot-bellied pigs: 2 in Nevada, which has one of the largest rescues in the country, and 1 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as of this writing. Lisle’s comprehensive ban brings the total to 4.

Ferret sales were included in bans in 3 bans in Michigan (2 also included long-lived birds and large reptiles) and 2 in Florida.

Activists in states with notably large ban quotients, notably New Jersey and Florida, have stuck to dogs and cats only. Out of Florida’s 64 bans as of this writing, only 5 include rabbits or 4/5 of 1%.

New Jersey has no rabbit bans by our count even though neighboring New York City has a full ban on rabbit sales while only meager, unenforceable strong restrictions on dog and cats sales.

Some in the animal rights and protections movement have long called this selectivity as speciesist: favoring one species over another. The problem of animal farming is the same for dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, long-lived birds, large reptiles, not to mention the serious trafficking in endangered species and species groups of insects and arachnids.

Rabbits should always be on a ban list

The rabbit story is as bleak, as witnessed by New York’s ban. Rabbits grown in hutches for pet stores and not the same breeds in the wild. A family sees a bunny in the pet store near Easter. “Mommy, I have to have one!”

“No, sweetie, we can’t take care of it.”

“But half my schoolmates have one!”

“Maybe next year….”

“I WANT A RABBIT!”

“Can you please add this bunny to my tab.”

But rabbits need a lot of care and attention. They should have at least yearly checkups and should be taken in if they stop eating, are throwing up, are lethargic, you get the picture. Bunnies need a lot of exercise, but they are not built to spend days and nights outside like the cottontails that live in the bush. Some people in northern climates are astonished when the bunny they relegated outside perished before Halloween. Many in the south have no idea their bunnies aren’t built for the heat. If they do survive outside for very long, they’ll eat your vegetation, which leads to the choice of letting them off in the park or the edge of town or near the creek which will either kill them or have them propagating like, well, rabbits and altering the long-standing balance of Nature.

Altogether too often the family brings home a pregnant rabbit, or two rabbits that mate, and a bunny family is running the house before you know it.

Why ferrets should always be included in bans

Some argue that just getting dog and cat sales bans passed can be a difficult enough fight. But the argument is strong for ferrets as they are even more at risk as many who take them on don’t have a clue what they bargained for. As in puppies and kittens, ferrets are often the impulse purchase in a pet store, many of them the larger national chains. If not taken well care of, ferrets can produce a copious amount of urine the smell of which is not easily reduced let alone eradicated. They have prodigious energy and need a lot of exercise and if they don’t get it they get sick. There are massive ferret rescues, usually in rural areas, that can’t keep up with the need of talking on castaway animals.

Pot Bellied Pigs

We’ll leave the sad tale to one of the largest pbp rescues in the country, in the Moapa Valley just outside of Nevada’s Valley of Fire.

Windy’s Ranch & Rescue Pig Sanctuary.

Website

YouTube video

Large reptiles, long-lived birds

Large reptiles can outgrow their welcome in a few years and are often dumped in the sewer system, in swampy areas like the everglades or bayous, near rivers, creeks, streams and lakes where the non-indigenous animals can wreak havoc on the micro-eco-system or inundate entire regions. They should be on all ban lists.

Long-lived birds are often made up of endangered species and are often trafficked illegally with phony papers, similar to the lies about where puppies come from, “We would never buy our pups and kittens from a puppy-mill, never!

And there’s the long-lived part. Who knows how old the bird you have gotten is. They may live another 100 years. Who will care for them when you are no longer able to, another rescue? Leave the endangered birds to their native habitat. They help make endangered natural habitats thrive.

Certain chicks and turtles

Sandy and Midvale, Utah bans include:

(e) Fowl: It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, barter or give away any fowl under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6). Such animals shall not be artificially dyed or colored. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to prohibit the raising of such fowl by a private individual for his personal use and consumption, provided that he shall maintain proper brooders and other facilities for the care and containment of such animals while they are in his possession.

(g)Pet turtles: It shall be unlawful for any pet shop or other business or person to raise or sell any turtle, tortoise or terrapin under four (4) inches front to back carapace length.

Municipal code

Cambridge, MA includes arachnids, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles


A. A pet shop may offer for sale only those arachnids, birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:

1. An animal care facility, as defined in section 6.20.010 of this chapter; or

2. An animal rescue organization, as defined in section 6.20.010 of this chapter; or

3. An animal sold or displayed for agricultural uses; or

4. Dead animals sold or displayed as breeder animals.

Municipal code

Rats, mice, gerbils, chinchillas, it’s all the same.

Nightmares for their parents back home, the animals brought into families are often sick, behavior challenged, and need more care than anyone in the home has time for. They languish in lives that are not ideal, especially when it comes to the exercise and exploring nearly every animal needs to have optimum health, let alone an appropriate and varied diet.

We hope this first ban of all animals sold in retail pet shops takes off as much as the ban on dogs and cats has.

Activists in jurisdictions that have had success in dog and cat retail sales bans should consider re-visiting their City and County councils and amend the bans to include these species as undergoing the same conditions and travails (and possible extinction) pet mill dogs and cats do. All of these animals are just as individual as a dog or a cat. All of them feel pain, feel sickness, indeed sadness in a melancholy life in a cage or glass too small for them, eating a poor an unvaried diet, and aren’t able to explore, smell, climb, slither, poke, sniff, swim, jump, run as all animals are meant to do.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, large reptiles, long-lived birds should always be included in bans, if not a blanket ban on the retail sale of animals for the very same reasons and definitions.

Rabbit Sales Bans on the Rise

According to our count, rabbit sales bans now stand at 40 jurisdictions, a 10% increase in rabbit sales bans in the past 3 months.

Recent jurisdictions where rabbit bans were included in ordinances:

  1. Downers Grove, Illinois, 3/2019
  2. Gig Harbor, Washington, 5/2019
  3. Bellevue, Pennsylvania, 6/2019
  4. Royal Oak, Michigan, 6/2019

We keep count of rabbit bans in our Icon Legend section under the Google Map:

icon legend
Hovering over the icon brings up a larger instance of the related count.
icon legend
Hint: Selecting the icon, its caption or the count number takes you to the Brief section for that category which describes how we arrive at our count and other details.

Our 6 years running Google Map gives specifics, either by drilling down on the map, or referencing the side bar where icon counts are listed by type.

Floating Menu > Maps/Charts > Google Map

Open the side bar with the icon

To reveal

Use the “v” drop down divot or click “….xx more” to see the full list.
Royal Oak, Michigan, the most recent ordinance to include rabbit bans, also bans sales of ferrets. Previous Michigan bans included bans on reptiles sales and long-lived birds.

Of interest: New Jersey with over 100 ordinances banning puppy and kitten sales has only 1 jurisdiction we are aware of that bans rabbit sales.

New York does not ban puppy and kitten sales, opting for a nearly unenforceable strong restriction (which should lead them to a full ban in the near future), outlawed the retail sales of rabbits at Christmas 2014.