As city shelters are buckling under the pressure of countless unwanted pets, and with many US and Canadian pet stores selling pets originating in inhumane puppy mills, more and more cities are enacting laws to ban the sale of cats, dogs and other companion animals.
In 2006, Albuquerque, N.M banned the retail sale of dogs and cats. More recently, South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood, have also banned pet sales. Other cities in Florida, Missouri, New Mexico and Richmond in Canada are considering similar bans. We hope this becomes a trend in the Middle East, where animal awareness is much lower (see our past post on the abuse of circus animals in Lebanon).
The results so far, have been nothing short of amazing. In Albuquerque, since the ban started, animal adoptions have increased 23 percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent.
Several major pet store chains, including PetSmart, have already decide not to sell animals in their shops, instead offering dogs and cats for adoption in partnership with local shelters.
There are two main issues with the sale of pets in stores. First is the decrease in adoption of pets in shelters, leading to more pets being put down by euthanasia, and more pets living in horrible conditions. The second is the increase in mass breeding of pets in puppy mills. Many of these puppy mills illegally keep animals in shockingly poor conditions, condemning the breeding animals to a life in a small wire cage until their fertility wanes, and they are either killed or abandoned.
Banning adorable puppies in pet stores, also decreases the chances of impulse buying, which all too often ends with more abandoned animals being thrown out once they grow out of the “cute puppy phase” or once their irresponsible owners grow tired of their responsibility. Those animals then usually find their way to an animal shelter (or worse). Many die or are put down.
“The pet stores don’t screen their prospective owners, and they can go buy a pet the same day,” said Helen Savkovic, a front desk employee at the Richmond Animal Protection Society. “We’re not in favour of impulse purchases of animals.”
So if you’re considering adding a dog or a cat to your home, don’t make the decision lightly, and make sure to visit your local animal shelter, or one of many adoption happenings in your area.
If you live in Israel, here are a few places to get you started:
SOS dog adoption and live music event (Tel Aviv, Friday, May 28, 2010).
Herzelia Loves Animals (Where we adopted our beautiful German Pointer)
This post was written by Tal Ater of Green Any Site. Green Any Site is a new green shopping service that makes sure a portion of any purchase you make online will be donated to a green charity. It works wherever you already shop, doesn’t cost you a penny, and only takes a click to use.
Image credit: popoever, Tal Ater.