Aasen says ‘no’ to puppy and kitten mills – Hamilton County Reporter

Changes to the city code would make Carmel the largest city in the state of Indiana to ban the sale of cats or dogs in pet stores.

Proposed changes to the city ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Adam Aasen, would still allow responsible, licensed breeders to sell animals directly to consumers within city limits. The new policy would not prevent pet stores from working with animal care facilities or rescue organizations to provide space to showcase adoptable cats or dogs.

Aasen said the change was necessary because many pet stores that sell cats and dogs get their inventory from unlicensed puppy mills, many of which are out of state. A study by PAWS, a non-profit animal organization, estimates that 90% of dogs and cats sold in pet stores come from puppy mills.


“The Carmel City Council has already banned puppy mills from operating within our city limits and we have already banned pet stores from sourcing animals from puppy mills,” Aasen said. “This simple change takes the next step to protect animals and discourage abuse and mistreatment. This law would actually be easier for our city to enforce because we wouldn’t have to track down where the animals came from, which can often be out of state.

No pet stores in Carmel currently sell cats or dogs, meaning no existing businesses would have to change their practices. Although the problem does not currently exist in Carmel, Aasen said the city has a history of being proactive rather than reactive.

“These stores exist at the borders of our city in neighboring municipalities and therefore this fear is not unfounded,” Aasen said. “By making this change, we can prevent a problem before it happens.”

Fines could be up to $2,500 per violation. Multiple violations could lead to the city of Carmel seeking an injunction to shut down the business.

Aasen said pet stores can make a lot of money without selling cats or dogs. Most make a living selling food, supplies, etc. and the sale of animals represents a very small percentage. According to the World Pet Association, in 2019, pet stores that sold only dry goods reported more total revenue per square foot ($403) than those that sold pets ($246).

Aasen said this order is not intended to punish breeders and, in fact, the American Kennel Club says they “believe the best way for a person to get a new pet is through interaction.” personal contact with the breeder of the animal and the animal in question. The code of ethics of most breed clubs states that their breeders refuse to sell their dogs to pet dealers or any other commercial source of distribution.

Puppy mills raise dogs and cats in filthy, unsanitary conditions with little or no veterinary care. The mothers are mated each heat cycle and are usually killed when they can no longer produce. Many puppy mills do not practice humane euthanasia. Dogs are killed in cruel ways, including by shooting or drowning.

Puppies are taken from their mothers too young and may develop serious health or behavioral issues due to the conditions in which they are raised and shipped.

“When I was a reporter in Florida, I personally saw police seize dogs from a puppy mill,” Aasen said. “These dogs had to be shaved because they had matted coats. They were dangerously thin. The smell was terrible. It was a horrible scene.

Puppy mills contribute to pet overpopulation and every time an animal is brought to the Humane Society of Hamilton County, it costs the taxpayers of the city it came from.

Animals brought to shelters outside of Hamilton County are often euthanized. Three million dogs are euthanized at animal shelters across the country each year.

Other Indiana communities with similar laws in place include:

  • Joseph County
  • Columbus
  • Dry cleaner
  • mountains
  • crown tip
  • Bloomington
  • Munster
  • lake station
  • Whiting
  • Hebron
  • Schererville (zoning)
  • East of Chicago

Citizens with questions or concerns can contact Councilor Aasen on [email protected].

Councilman Adam Aasen (R-SE District) represents Southeast Carmel, which is east of Keystone Parkway and north of 96th Street. The neighborhood borders north along Main Street from Keystone to Gray Road and along 126th Street from Gray to the eastern city limits.

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