The Cambridge City Council finally approved a ban on the retail sale of commercially-bred dogs, cats, birds, amphibians, reptiles, arachnids, hamsters, and gerbils.
This is not a drill, this is actually happening and it’s wonderful! The ordinance will go into effect next year and aims to take on the commercial animal breeding industry, an industry which has been known for cruelty and inhumane practices for decades now.
There are so many misconceptions about animal breeding, most of which try to paint the animal breeding as a good thing, when, in fact, it’s both dangerous, cruel, and irresponsible. People often float around the term “reputable breeder,” which is funny because there’s no such thing. But some folks will do whatever it takes to get precious, little breeds, like teacups, who suffer wildly because of people’s vanity. Arguably, one of the biggest problems with breeding is when people want to mix breeds. Sure, they’re pretty, but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy.
Given all of that — and more — this ordinance is incredibly important. The Cambridge ordinance is like a similar one passed in Boston last year, which bans the retail sale of commercially bred dogs, cats, and rabbits, and another new-ish one in Stoneham that placed a ban on the sale of dogs and cats from puppy and kitten mills. The cool part about these ordinances is that it still allows pet shops to work with local rescue organizations and shelters to help customers adopt pets.
Six to eight million needy animals enter the shelter system each year (only a small fraction of the 70 million who roam the streets), and only around half of these animals end up adopted into homes. By encouraging more people to choose a rescued pet and skip buying one from breeders, we can help reduce the major issue of pet homelessness.
This ordinance was made to help dogs, cats, and other commonly sold animals. Let’s hope it gives them all the help they deserve!
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