For those who regularly follow Michigan Humane blogs, you are familiar with our fight against abusive commercial breeders, commonly referred to as puppy mills. For example, during the 2017-18 legislative session, many of you helped us push back against two bills that would have made it easier for puppy mills to sell puppies through retail pet stores. Those bills, which were vetoed by Governor Snyder, would have – among other things – prevented local governments from enacting ordinances prohibiting the retail sale of animals.

In vetoing those bills, Governor Snyder indicated that the issue of whether pet stores are allowed to sell animals should be a matter of local control. We agree. A community that does not want its residents and visitors to suffer the heartache of buying a sick puppy or to contract a zoonotic disease should be able to ban the retail sale of pets. And of course, as awareness of what happens at many commercial breeding facilities grows, the public is refusing to support the retail pet industry and is seeking family pets through humane sources instead.

Local governments currently have the opportunity to ban retail pet sales, which is a very effective way to deprive commercial breeders of retail outlets and send the strong message that their inhumane practices that put profit over animal and human welfare will not be tolerated. Michigan Humane recently partnered with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to support an ordinance banning retail pet sales that it introduced in the city of Royal Oak.

The ordinance was introduced on May 20, 2019 and moved quickly through first and second reading. The ordinance passed unanimously on June 24 and became an official Royal Oak ordinance ten days later. As passed, the ordinance bans the retail sale of dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets in the city of Royal Oak.

We are grateful to our colleagues at HSUS and will continue to work with like-minded organizations and individuals in the fight against abusive commercial breeders. Please help us raise awareness and enlist the support of other animal lovers by sharing this blog and encouraging others to join our Legislative Action Network.

Thank you for all you do for animals!

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