Boston is the latest city to ban pet stores from selling animals from commercial breeders.
Known as the “puppy mill bill” the Boston City Council unanimously approved the ordinance and was signed into law by Major Martin J. Walsh.
While there currently aren’t any pet stores in Boston that sell kittens or puppies, the law will stop at least one pet-store chain from expanding to the area, according to Councilor Matt O’Malley of Jamaica Plain, who proposed the initiative.
“This is a very important piece of legislation that goes after the inhumane factories known as puppy mills,” O’Malley told The Boston Globe. “It will also prohibit the sale of dogs on the street corner or in parking lots.”
In the end, the state is looking to be part of a push to treat animals more humanely and not support businesses that focus on profit over health.
This past December the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued a shar-pei mix that was bought online through a commercial breeder and shipped to the state. The dog arrived so sick, he required emergency veterinary care. After being under care for a few weeks, the dog, named Nelson, was adopted to a new home.
“This was a classic puppy mill situation, and it’s not surprising to us that Nelson was so sick. He was likely critically ill before he was even transported to Massachusetts,” Alyssa Krieger, manager of the MSPCA’s animal care and adoption center, told Jamaica Plain News.
Pet stores are encouraged to work with rescues to adopt out homeless dogs. People will still be able to purchase a dog directly from a breeder.
The city does currently have one store that sells bunnies. Owner Jim Gentile will be able to continue breeding the rabbits until 2017.
O’Malley told the outlet that already 120 cities have enacted similar laws, including Los Angeles and Chicago.