A Proposed Ban on Retail Sales of Dogs and Cats to be Heard in Committee


In Tuesday’s Social Services and Public Safety (SSPS) Committee meeting, the Kentucky State Director for the Humane Society of the United States will present a proposed ordinance to prohibit the sale of dogs and cats in retail stores.

This ordinance would prevent retail pet stores from selling dogs and cats, meaning that dogs and cats would only be obtainable locally through the Lexington Humane Society, non-profit pet rescues, and individual breeders that sell directly to the public. Pet stores found in violation of this ordinance, should it pass, would be subject to a $500 fine for each reported sale of a cat or dog.

488 communities nationwide have passed similar legislation, including the Kentucky cities of Radcliffe, Elizabethtown, and Louisville.

Advocates say that the ban on retail sales could accomplish several goals:

  • Restrict the puppy mill pipeline, as advocates claim that most retail stores source the puppies they sell from large commercial breeders that often neglect their animals.

  • Direct more prospective pet owners to the Humane Society and non-profit rescues, ensuring that animals are being adopted from reputable animal-care organizations and relieving the high-intake burden in animal shelters.

  • Make sure that pure-bred dogs are being sold by individual breeders, who advocates claim are more responsible than large commercial puppy mills and are easier to regulate and monitor.

The ordinance would not affect the sale of other pets such as gerbils, hamsters, reptiles, snakes, or fish.

You can view the presentation and read the ordinance starting on page three of this packet.

The Social Services and Public Safety Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 9th at 1pm in Council Chambers. You can attend in-person or watch live on LexTV.

Republished from CivicLex.

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