The city of San Francisco in California ruled that pet shops can now only sell rescued cats and dogs in a bid to find homes for thousands of abandoned pets while weakening the grip of the inhumane and deceptive practices of the city's puppy mills.
A growing trend
In a move that reflects those of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and many others, San Francisco has decided that only pets from shelters may be sold in pet shops, and none under the age of 8 weeks.
This new ruling "will serve as a deterrent, preventing a business from moving into San Francisco and selling animals from irresponsible mass-producing breeders that churn out puppies and kittens as if they were on an assembly line," according to Katy Tang, the district supervisor.
This ban will make it difficult for puppy mills to make sales to the public through pet shops and will also protect customers from pet vendors that have been dishonest about the pet's lineage or upbringing.
Weeding out puppy mills
Puppy mills have long flourished across the world as a source of profit based on producing dogs for sale with no regard as to the well-being of the puppies or their mothers.
Puppies in these situations are often torn away from their mothers before having been weaned properly and are left alone in a cage. This means that the puppy can develop health problems later on in life, costing their pet parent thousands, and also means that the puppy will be unsocialised and later on develop behavioural problems.
Licensed breeders are unaffected
Responsible, licensed breeders will not be affected by this rule - future pet parents can still buy pets direct from breeders who have gone through the necessary application to be considered responsible. Pets may also be bought directly from shelters.
The only ones to be affected by this new rule are undocumented or unsuitable pet vendors - protecting animals and pet parents alike.