A Ban on Selling Animals in Pet Stores? Vote Yes, PETA Urges
Las Vegas — As the Clark County Board of Commissioners considers an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of dogs, cats, rabbits, and pot-bellied pigs in pet stores, PETA sent a letter this morning to the council’s members urging them to vote in favor of the ban, which would help not only animals but also officials’ constituents and the city’s bottom line. The ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing and possible vote on Tuesday.
PETA notes that the ordinance would help reduce the number of animals flooding the county animal shelter, which recently made headlines for turning them away, severe crowding, and infectious disease outbreaks. It would also prevent the county from promoting dogs obtained from puppy mills, which confine mother dogs to cramped, metal-floored cages and use them as breeding machines until their bodies give out. Many “purebred” and “designer” puppies from such facilities suffer from diseases and inbreeding that mean high veterinary bills for unsuspecting consumers. For example, French bulldogs, pugs, and other flat-faced dogs—called “breathing-impaired breeds” due to a debilitating and sometimes fatal condition called brachycephalic syndrome—have restricted airways that cause them to struggle to breathe, which is a leading cause of death in these breeds.
“Puppies in the pet shop window commonly begin life in massive breeding mills, where they’re taken from their mothers prematurely, exposed to diseases, and shipped off to make a quick buck,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA and our members and supporters statewide are encouraging Clark County leadership to provide the county’s severely crowded shelter with much-needed relief by voting ‘yes’ on this pet shop ban.”
Around 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. Many animal shelters—under pressure to avoid euthanasia at all costs—are turning dogs away when they inevitably reach capacity and refusing to accept cats altogether, leaving the most vulnerable animals with nowhere to go. Many end up abandoned on the streets, where they may be hit by cars, infected with diseases, or hurt by cruel people—and those who reproduce make the companion animal overpopulation crisis worse. That’s why PETA urges shelters to accept all animals in need, asks everyone to adopt instead of buying from breeders or pet stores, and advises guardians to have their animal companions spayed or neutered.