Clark County in Nevada has recently proposed a ban on pet stores selling live animals!
Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft says that banning the sale of pets in pet stores is the humane thing to do.
“Many people might not really realize this, but there aren't a whole lot of regulations on pet stores. They, of course, have to have a business license, which is why we have some authority here. But they tend to point often to the USDA licensing and the sort of certification that they get. But in reality, the USDA license says almost nothing about the quality of breeder standards are really, really low. Enforcement is even lower and severely lacking," said Naft.
Animals are living, feeling beings with complex emotions and experiences. Selling animals in a store treats them as objects.
California was the first state to ban the sale of animals in stores, and since then, 5 more states in the U.S. have followed suit: Washington, Maine. Maryland, New York, and Illinois.
When hundreds of millions of stray dogs and cats roam the world's streets without access to enough food, shelter, or a loving home, we have to ask ourselves: why are people creating more animals when so many are already suffering?
The Cruelty of Pet Stores
Animals sold in pet stores are displayed as products. They are typically confined to extremely cramped cages and have an inadequate amount of fresh air, exercise, and normal socialization.
Pet stores take advantage of people's compassion: for example, a kind-hearted person sees a miserable puppy in a tiny cage and decides to save her by buying her. Yes, they save that one puppy. But then the pet store makes a profit by causing that suffering, and it immediately fills that cage with another suffering puppy, then another and another, as long as people keep buying them. On top of that, the parents of these puppies continue to suffer in cruel puppy mills.
While these animals sit in sickeningly small cages, millions of stray animals outside lack even the most basic shelter. The pet store industry, in effect, detracts attention and resources from stray animals who could otherwise benefit from adoption.
The Pet Store Problem
The consumer-centric model of pet stores selling animals has a direct and negative impact on stray animals. Stray animals already face countless problems, including lack of shelter, veterinary care, and food. The fact that pet stores sell animals adds another layer to their struggle: a diminished chance of finding a forever home. In this article, we'll explore the reasons why pet stores are bad news for stray animals.
The Supply Chain Issue
Pet stores typically source their animals from breeders, contributing to the so-called "puppy mill" or "kitten factory" phenomena. These are commercial breeding facilities where animals are often kept in deplorable conditions for the sake of profit. The focus of these breeders is volume and quick turnover. Consequently, pet stores provide a sales channel for these facilities while indirectly encouraging their existence. This creates a cycle that takes potential homes away from stray animals waiting in shelters for adoption.
Adoption vs. Purchase
When people buy animals from pet stores, they are often unaware of the existence or benefits of adopting from a shelter. Animal shelters house a wide range of animals who are in desperate need of a home. These animals are often vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and some are even trained. Also, adoption fees are generally less than the cost of buying an animal, making it a financially viable option as well.
The problem lies in perception. Pet stores often offer "purebred" or "exotic" animals, reinforcing the mistaken belief that such animals are somehow superior or more desirable than mixed-breed animals or strays. This further pushes potential guardians away from considering adoption as a viable alternative.
Animals in shelters will be put to death if they are not adopted fast enough. Adopting an animal from a shelter will save the life of the animal.
Money Over Compassion
The sale of animals at pet stores is driven by consumer demand. However, this economic model puts profit ahead of animal well-being. Stray animals, on the other hand, offer no economic incentives—they are often viewed as societal problems rather than living beings deserving of a home. As long as selling animals at pet stores remains a profitable venture, stray animals will continue to face the brutal battle of finding homes.
The Domino Effect on Shelters
Pet stores that sell animals directly affect animal shelters by reducing the number of animals adopted, thus increasing the burden on these already overstressed facilities. Overcrowding in shelters often leads to decreased quality of care and, sadly, a higher rate of animals being put to death when they aren't adopted quickly enough. And of course, some animals purchased at pet stores are given up by their guardians and end up in shelters.
Tell Pet Stores: Stop Selling Animals!
Pet stores should sell only supplies, not living beings! Here are some ways you can take action to prevent animals from suffering in pet stores.
Advocate for new legislation
Do you live in a state that still sells live animals in pet stores? Unless you live in California, Washington, Maine. Maryland, New York, or Illinois, the answer is yes.
Your voice matters! You can work to change the law in your area to help end the sale of animals as objects. The Animal Legal Defense Fund can help you make change! Just click this link and fill out the form.
2. Educate your friends and family
Many people are unaware of the problems that pet stores create. Boycott stores that sell animals, and encourage others to do the same.
It's crucial to raise awareness about this issue so that more people opt for adoption, lessening the strain on animal shelters and giving homeless animals a fighting chance at a better life.
3. Choose Adoption, Save a Life!
The existence and popularity of pet stores selling animals directly decreases the adoption of homeless animals. By choosing to adopt rather than purchase, you not only save a life but also take a stand against the commercialization and exploitation of animals for profit.
Animals are not objects!
6 states have already enacted important laws that protect animals from being treated as objects. We hope you’ll take a stand in your state and in your personal life to make sure that animals receive the love and respect that they deserve!