Christine Coughlin of the Humane Society of the United States says it’s not about condition in a pet store, it’s where the pets are coming from.
“When we’re talking about puppy mills, we’re talking about commercial breeding facilities where it’s perfectly legal to keep a dog in a cage, wire bottom, only 6 inches larger than a dog’s body for its entire life. Some of these places have one hundred, three hundred, a thousand animals,” said Coughlin.
They’re asking the city of Blaine to embrace, what they call, a humane model where homeless animals like these could be adopted at stores that also sell pet supplies. The model endorses the idea of adoption events instead of pet sales.
“Stores are not selling commercially bred dogs and cats, instead they’re selling supplies and services, making a healthy profit. Many of them also choose to co-host adoption events with animal shelters and rescues. So they’re helping to find homeless animal a home. It’s a very business-friendly model. It’s a very business-friendly solution. We would encourage the Blaine City Council to adopt a humane pet store ordinance.”
At a city council workshop, one member says there was not enough council support for a total ban on pet sales. Member Jason Smith says feedback was given on what types of licensing options might be supported. It could be licensing that requires inspections. City Clerk Cathy Sorensen says they will see what’s worked in other cities.
“Many cities have done an actual ban on retail pet sales, that is not what seems to be occurring here in Blaine. So we’re going to be looking at cities that have licensing ordinances in place and then drafting based on that.”
Sorensen says there was some direction to limit the number of licenses for pet sales.
Currently we have only one location in the city that we’re aware of that is doing retail pet sales, so that license would be capped at one. When that business no longer is operated in Blaine, then through attrition there would be no more licenses available.”
City staff will bring it back to the council in another workshop to make sure the proposed ordinance is in line with what the council wants.
At a previous workshop, council members pointed out that police have inspected the current retail pet store over the years and found no concerns over the treatment of animals. The cities of Roseville, Eden Prairie, St. Paul, Carver and Cloquet have adopted pet store ordinances.