San Antonio – A proposed city ordinance would place new restrictions on the sale of cats and dogs in San Antonio pet stores, forbidding them to sell dogs acquired from breeders.
The ordinance, which the city council will take up on Oct. 29, would only permit pet stores in the city limits to sell cats and dogs obtained through animal rescue organizations, city or county animal shelters, or animal control agencies.
The minimum penalty for first time pet sale violations would also go up from $100 to $500.
Supporters see it as a way to push back against large, commercial dog-breeding businesses, often referred to as “puppy mills."
While city ordinances prevent the existence of large-scale breeding operations within the city limits, Katie Jarl, the regional director of the Humane Society of the United States, says puppies from these types of businesses still end up in San Antonio pet stores.
“These animals are born into cruel and unsanitary conditions taken from their mothers too early and put on trucks to be shipped to San Antonio from states like Iowa and Missouri,” Jarl said.
Once here, the dogs can fetch a high price thanks to the demand for their breeds.
Royal Pet Palace owner Jessica Loven said the market for a puppy is currently “about $2,500 to $3,000.”