PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Animal Wellness Action (AWA) and Bailing Out Benji (BOB) have called on the towns of Tempe and Tucson and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations that local pet stores known as Puppies’ N Love and Animal Kingdom buy puppies from certain breeders. in violation of Arizona state law, according to the press release.
Puppies’ N Love and Animal Kingdom buy and transport puppies to puppy mills in the Midwest for sale in their stores. Most puppy mills have hundreds of dogs on a single property, making it virtually impossible for these operators to socialize the animals well, provide adequate veterinary care, allow the animals to live in suitable housing that is protected elements and present their natural behaviors. .
“Our investigation revealed compelling evidence that these pet stores violate Arizona state law,” said Lain Kahlstrom, director of state affairs at Animal Wellness Action. “These pet store owners fraudulently claim to customers that they don’t get dogs from puppy mills, but, in fact, they get dogs from high volume breeders out of state. with direct violations of the law on the protection of animals. “
In 2016, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey enacted SB 1248 in an attempt to prevent pet stores from obtaining puppies from some of the worst puppy mills, while simultaneously removing the possibility for cities in the Arizona to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs locally. level, according to the release. The law stipulated that pet stores should not purchase dogs from breeders whose animal welfare law violations had been discovered by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors in the past two years.
Through a public records request to the Arizona Department of Agriculture, Bailing Out Benji and Animal Wellness Action obtained records from 2017 to early 2020. Records detail that approximately 250 puppies from breeders in the out of state with direct violations of animal welfare law were shipped. to pet stores appointed during this period and sold to the public.
- Sugarfork Kennels received a direct violation of animal welfare law in October 2017. Over the next two years, Puppies’ N Love and Animal Kingdom imported approximately 237 puppies from the breeding facility.
- Wilbur Byler received a direct violation in October 2019. Since then, at least 10 puppies have arrived in Arizona for resale at the named stores.
According to the statement, state law also requires pet stores to display the breeder’s name and license on every cage and in any electronic marketing, so that the public can research the breeders themselves. Pet stores also do not fully comply with this legal standard. BOB and AWA have documented instances of missing and incorrect cage information, making it nearly impossible for buyers to receive the correct information about their puppy’s provenance.
âThis chain of pet stores had this law written just for them and they push to keep it in place every year – and they couldn’t even follow the law they helped write and pass for them – same, âsaid Nicole Galvan, Arizona director. to bail out Benji. “The scary thing is that other pet stores in other states are pushing to copy this law – to stop cities from outright banning these deplorable business practices.”
“When the state passed the puppy mill preemption law, it cut short efforts in Tucson, Tempe and the Phoenix area to crack down on the horrific exploitation of puppies that was happening then and continues to happen.” said Steve Kozachik, Tucson. member of the city council, representing Ward 6. “Through this joint effort, we were able to demonstrate this reality to lawmakers who put the profits of the few before a moral obligation to solve the problem. I hope now they “I will understand the importance of removing this preemption so that local jurisdictions can work to end the puppy mill industry.”
More than 350 local governments and three states in the United States have issued ordinances prohibiting pet stores from selling dogs from puppy mills. And in Congress, Representatives Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) And Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) Introduced the Petfax Act, which would establish a federal law requiring sellers of dogs and cats to disclose certain information about the animal. , including source and number of dogs bred. This bill would also make it illegal to misrepresent the origin of the animal.
Additionally, the months-long investigation revealed possible violations of federal law. Stores openly engage in activities that require regular USDA inspection. Under current federal law, pet stores are exempt from USDA inspection because this is where puppies, buyers, and sellers meet. However, when the puppies are housed at an intermediate site and when the puppies are displayed in other locations to interact with the public for promotional purposes, these activities are not covered by the pet store exemption and are therefore subject to a inspection. So far, inspections have not taken place prior to publication.
“Arizona’s pet supply law is weak and difficult to enforce,” said Terry Goddard, former Arizona attorney general. “I hope that lawmakers will seriously consider the enormous amount of work that has had to be done in view of the recent enforcement and take the appropriate steps to amend the law to make enforcement more efficient so that we can end the irresponsible puppy mill system.
If you purchased a puppy from Puppies’ N Love or Animal Kingdom and are concerned about where your puppy is coming from, or if your puppy was sick, please contact [email protected].