In a move that has delighted animal fans worldwide, Miami has just banned the sale of cats and dogs from 'substandard breeding facilities' in pet stores.
The new ordinance, voted on by the Miami City Commission, has ordered pet shops to work with shelters, rescues and county-regulated breeders, rather than puppy and kitten mills, which are currently where many shop-bought pets are born.
It follows 50 other cities, such as Sacramento in California, who have already enacted bans, hoping to crack down on these mills. It is widely known that life for animals in these 'factories' are often terrible, and that even animals born in businesses inspected and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture can live in awful conditions.
In these places, animals are often kept in tiny cages and not given the chance to exercise or even go outside. Female animals are impregnated again and again with no regard for their health, as the owners are only looking to make a profit and breeding animals is very expensive if done properly.
Baby animals are not screened properly for illnesses, so deformities and diseases, such as the deadly Parvovirus, run rampant.
These 'breeders' also are more likely to be breeding the animals to have 'fashionable' traits, rather than breeding responsibly. This leads to painful defects, such as the over-flat faces on Pugs and Bulldogs, or joint problems in Scottish Fold cats.
Uninformed families who buy these pets may run into these problems later in their pets' lives, with devastating results.
A previous law put in place in Miami in 2014 ordered pet shops to give details of where they got their animals from, in the hopes that it would encourage potential families to avoid those bred at mills. But lawmakers decided that this wasn't enough, and passed the new ordinance on July 27.
Vice Chairman Ken Russell, who sponsored the ordinance, saw this as a step towards phasing out mills nation-wide:
We can’t control the supply but we can control the demand […] The world is watching us right now. I believe that many cities across the country are deciding whether they want to be the cities of tomorrow or the cities of yesterday.
As more and more people become aware of the conditions inside these 'breeding factories', it is hoped by activists that they will be more thoughtful about where they get their pets from. It is always a wonderful thing to give a home to a cat or dog from a shelter, rather than buying from a breeder.
Source: RSPCA NSW
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