Should you be able to buy a new puppy at a pet store?

Local News

SANDY, Utah (News4Utah) UPDATE: The ordinance to end the sale of companion animals in pet stores passed unanimously Tuesday evening. 

Pet stores in Sandy may soon be banned from selling companion animals unless they come from a shelter or a rescue group. 

For dogs, cats and rabbits, Sandy city councilwoman Kristin Nicholl wants owners to think adoption and skip the pet store. 

“I think people need to be aware of what they’re buying from a puppy store,” Nicholl said.

Citing consumer safety, Nicholl wants the amendment to decrease the demand on puppy mills, where dogs are often sick and susceptible to genetic disorders. 

Nichol proposed the policy amendment earlier this year, even while nothing would immediately change.

“In this instance, we don’t have a pet store. We haven’t had a pet store in Sandy in ten years so it’s a good time to do it,” Nicholl said. 

By doing it now, she said it would not cause problems or lost revenue for current businesses.

If passed, Sandy City would join more than 230 others regulating the sale of companion animals. When it happens, the Humane Society of Utah said fewer animals are given up for adoption and euthanasia rates drop. 

“We hope that more cities and counties pass a pet store ordinance like this because we don’t need to produce any more dogs when there are millions of them waiting in shelters across the country who need our help,” Humane Society of Utah executive director Gene Baierschmidt said in a press release.

Sandy City council members will vote on the policy amendment May 1.

In 2015, Salt Lake County passed an ordinance to end the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. The law does not affect any existing pet store and only applies to the unincorporated area of the county, but will prohibit any future pet stores from opening.

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