According to the Chicago Tribune, the City Council today voted 49-1 to ban the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in Chicago. According to a City clerk, the law “cuts off a pipeline of the animals coming from the horrendous puppy mill industry and instead moves us towards a retail pet sales model that focuses on adopting out the many, many homeless animals [from shelters and rescues] in need of loving homes in this city.” Chicago joins Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and many other U.S. cities have already instituted a ban. In January, New York state passed a law giving local municipalities the power to impose their own regulations on pet sales, according to the Daily News. The NYC Council has since introduced a bill that would prevent city pet stores from buying cats and dogs from unlicensed breeders.
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Until every homeless animal in a shelter or at a rescue finds a forever home, we must continue to lobby for the passage of laws banning the sale of companion animals from commercial breeding operations. And, even then, we must always fight for the closure of puppy mills, which are cruel and dangerous businesses that treat animals like commodities. To anyone working in animal rescue, the “kill lists” are a daily reminder of the crisis of overpopulation and the importance of adoption and animal birth control. If helping homeless animals is important to you, please consider volunteering at a local shelter, helping place animals in foster homes, lobbying for laws banning the sale of commercially bred animals, and, of course, encouraging people to adopt, not shop.