Dallas City Council Passes ‘Humane Pet Store’ Rule

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The Dallas City Council unanimously passed a measure banning the sale of cats and dogs in city pet stores. Dallas joins 11 other Texas cities with a ban already in place.

The Humane Society says a Petland location in Dallas purchased dogs from two breeders on the organization’s “Horrible Hundred” list. Lauren Loney, Texas State Manager, said the two breeders were cited for “housing animals in filthy and unsafe conditions”, “feces covering kennel floors” and “exposing dogs to extremely cold weather without adequate shelter and water.”

“The people of Dallas would never knowingly support this type of cruelty,” Loney told the city council. “With your support, they will not unknowingly support this type of cruelty.”

Jay Suk, the owner of the Dallas Petland location, says he only works with licensed breeders. It’s the only store in town that currently sells dogs and cats.

“My breeders are all USDA licensed and inspected,” Suk said. “If there are violations in the last two years, I prohibit breeders from working in our store.”

Suk and several employees spoke at the city council meeting where the ban was passed. They say the ban could lead more people to turn to unlicensed breeders who sell animals online.

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“By closing my store, more people will buy from unregulated breeders who sell at flea markets and on Craigslist,” Suk said. “You can search for it on Craigslist right now. There will be hundreds.”

Employees said closing the store would shut down a safe place where people could meet for their own conversations and end the opportunity for owners to learn how to train their animals.

Suk says he may have to close his store, saying the ban could cost him 75% of his sales. He says he employs 30 people and has generated $2.4 million in tax revenue over the past three years.

“I sincerely hope that Dallas Petland will keep its doors open to this city, retain its employees, and continue to serve this community through a model of pet products and services rather than the inhumane model they currently use,” said Loney.

The Humane Society claims that Dallas was the largest city in Texas without prohibition.

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