Las Vegas loves puppies: The city is ranked third on realtor.com’s list of America’s Top 10 Cities for Dog Ownership. One in six households has a furry family member.
Will a proposed ban on sales in pet stores change that?
Mesquite, North Las Vegas and Reno have already banned sales at pet stores to combat the national problem of pet overpopulation and puppy mills.
The American Humane Association reports that of the 163 million pet cats and dogs in the United States, one in 20 is sent to a shelter.
While some say banning pet stores is a way to end animal abuse and overpopulation, not everyone buys into the idea.
An online petition launched by the Henderson Puppy Palace pet store has received more than 650 signatures against the proposed ban. The petition cites a love of animals and fears for the future of family pet stores.
It’s a complicated question. And we called several pet stores in the Las Vegas Valley, but none agreed to join this conversation.
Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft recently proposed banning sales at pet stores in Clark County. On the other side, Amy Lee is the spokeswoman for the Nevada SPCA, which takes in thousands of stray animals every year.
Naft said he thought it was the human thing to do. About 400 municipalities in 31 states have already instituted bans, including six states as a whole.
“A lot of people might not really realize it, but there aren’t a lot of regulations on pet shops. Of course they have to have a business license, so that’s why we have some authority here. But they tend to often point out the USDA license and what type of certification they get.But in reality the USDA license says almost nothing about the quality of the breeders standards which are really, really low The app is even weaker and sorely lacking,” Naft said.
It wouldn’t force pet stores to close, but it would mean they would have to change their business model to stop selling animals.
As it stands, Naft and Lee said ethical breeders already don’t sell to pet stores. It won’t be a panacea, Naft said, but he said the county needs to look at what’s reasonable, what it can control.
Lee said 60% of their intake was made up of abandoned pets, many of which came from pet stores.
“Pet stores put unfixed animals into the population. So we take on those burdens, we fix those animals, send them back, and try to find new homes for them,” she said.
In unincorporated Clark County, there are about a dozen pet stores.