City first in Minn. to ban sale of dogs, cats in pet stores

A Minnesota city recently became the first in the state to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.

Roseville’s ban came after a “troubling inspection report” from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The only store in the city that sells dogs and cats received the bad review. That inspired area residents to lead a movement to end the practice.

“This is in fitting with Roseville’s values, and current conditions are not,” Roseville City Council Member Lisa Laliberte said shortly before the vote on the ban Monday, the Pioneer Press reported.

The ordinance passed unanimously and takes effect in six months.

Animal-rights advocates have criticized the commercial sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, saying that it’s bad for the animals’ health and it contributes to puppy mill-like practices. Additionally, it can create consumer-rights issues, due to higher veterinarian costs associated with such store-bought pets, they say.

And many breeders are against the sale of dogs in pet stores. In a survey of American Kennel Club breed clubs, the Humane Society of the United States discovered that 96 percent of them have issued statements or guidelines against the practice, the organization’s Minnesota director Christine Coughlin told the Pioneer Press.

Most breeders sell directly to families, she said. “We know responsible breeders don’t sell to pet stores. They want to make sure it’s a good fit.”

More than a dozen other states have had cities enact similar legislation. Coughlin said she believes Roseville is the first city in Minnesota to implement such a ban.