Pet stores in Sandy Springs would be prohibited from selling dogs and cats from breeding facilities, and only allowed to host pet adoptions from rescue organizations, under a new city law in the works.

No pet stores in the city currently sell such animals anyway, officials said at a Nov. 7 City Council meeting. But the planned ordinance “to promote adoption of rescue animals” drew council support as a symbolic and preventative measure.

“The rationale is, take away the profits, you get rid of those puppy mills” where animals are raised in “terrible conditions,” said Councilmember Gabriel Sterling.

The ordinance was presented in a non-voting work session, where councilmembers agreed for city staff to move ahead with a final version.

Assistant City Clerk Kelly Bogner and City Attorney Dan Lee presented the ordinance as promoting humane treatment of animals, protecting customers and potentially saving local government money that might be spent dealing with abandoned animals. The proposed ordinance’s preamble cites such organizations as the Humane Society of the United States, the Georgia SPCA, Fix Georgia Pets and the American Kennel Club.

The concern, officials say, is that most cats and dogs sold in pet stores are from so-called mills. As the ordinance’s preamble explains, “puppy and kitten mills are mass-breeding facilities that produce puppies and kittens with an emphasis on profit over welfare of the animal. These mills generally house these animals in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization.”

The ordinance would ban pet stores from any type of commercial trading of dogs and cats and permit them only to host rescue animals from government- or nonprofit-operated shelters. Even then, stores would be required to post a sign showing what organization each animal came from.

And cats and dogs under 8 weeks old could not be adopted.

A pet store could be fined up to $500 per violation.

The ordinance would not bar individual customers from purchasing dogs or cats directly from a breeder “where consumers can see directly the conditions in which the dogs or cats are bred, or can confer directly with the breeder concerning those conditions.”

“I think this is a good idea,” Mayor Rusty Paul said of the proposed ordinance.

“I strongly support this ordinance,” said Councilmember Ken Dishman, adding that “this particular issue hits close to home” because his daughter supports the concept and they recently adopted a dog.

Correction: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect name for the Humane Society of the United States.

5 replies on “Sandy Springs to ban pet-shop sale of cats and dogs”

  1. Sad. Councilmembers brainwashed again by the anti-breeding crowd. What pet store would want the liability of offering “rescue” animals? With purpose-bred animals, there is a history, known size and temperament, and usually a warranty. It was be BAD BUSINESS for a pet store to get sick or unhealthy puppies to sell (so the vast majority are careful where they get their puppies). If puppies are sourced from USDA-licensed breeders (which most are), there are standards of care required. People need to STOP SUPPORTING the anti-breeding PROPAGANDA from the “animal rights”-led organizations and their brainwashed zombies. Use critical thinking, folks, instead of allowing emotional hubris to rule decisions! Here’s an article that lists the animal rights agenda. See #10 in particular, then think about the anti-breeding propaganda that AR-led organizations have been putting out for years.

  2. Bravo! Every puppy purchased from a pet store or breeder – licensed or not – denies a home to one in a shelter whose life may depend on being adopted. Municipalities across the country have shown the same compassion and foresight as City Council

    1. so saving the life depends ,not on the original owner-who took on the responsibility in the 1st place, but on closing down responsible (hopefully) breeders who care for the puppies until they can be purchased by responsible owners ?? Does not the bred puppy also deserve a life ??
      — By the way , I had a SPCA dog for almost 20 years and will get my next from there…I just think someone should be allowed to purchase a bred dog ( from a certified breeder) at a store if they want…. and go the SPCA if they want….

  3. Really odd, creating a law for a problem that does not exist in Sandy Springs. Not sure the city “fathers’ or “mothers’ considered this type of Govt. intervention when the city was created…..
    If a breeding facility meets certain requirements ( see above) and treats the puppies well , is it correct to outlaw their activities ?
    What’s next?: city council and Mayor Paul :Outlawing Costco roasted chickens because they are raised in chicken coops on food pellets instead of being “free-range”….

  4. No worries, MCovault. I still get asked the question “Do you know where I can get a purebred so-and-so puppy?” Go into any big box pet store and you see plenty of folks with their purebred intact dogs sashaying through the aisles. There will always be a place for the responsible backyard breeder. As to the health of shelter animals, yes, sometimes it can be a crap shoot, depending on the shelter/rescue organization but if you connect with an animal despite its background you will do what is right for that animal, right?(Adoption fees are generally low because of that.) Unless the acquisition is just for status reasons. Now be a good citizen and volunteer at your local county shelter for a couple hours….

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