The number of towns and cities banning the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores is growing around the U.S.

Back in December, the city of Phoenix, Ariz. stepped up to the plate and instituted its ban on cat and dog pet store sales to the great applause of animal lovers and advocates everywhere.


Not long after, four cities in Florida followed suit in January, February, and March of this year, including Coconut Creek, Wellington, Surfside, and Aventura, setting the U.S. list of jurisdictions with retail pet sale bans to 40.

Now, we are happy to announce lucky number 41! Just yesterday, the Chicago City Council passed a landmark ordinance restricting the sale of dogs and cats from large-scale commercial breeders (i.e. puppy mills) in all Chicago pet stores!


Chicago City County Clerk Susana A. Mendoza introduced the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance last month with the aim of not only protecting unsuspecting animal guardians from bringing in sick pets into their homes but also saving the lives of animals in both puppy mills and shelters.


“I have to believe that if consumers really knew the conditions that these puppies are coming from, they would not support such systemic, large-scale cruelty. Beyond that, why are we bringing thousands of new puppies into this city each year when tens of thousands of dogs and cats are in our shelters and rescues at the city’s expense?” Mendoza said in support of the ordinance.

The majority of animals in pet stores today come from large-scale commercial breeders that are more concerned with profit than welfare. Indeed, case after case of puppy mill busts have shown the deplorable conditions these dogs are kept in. Some have feces caked to their severely matted fur while others suffer from health problems and even paralysis like recent puppy mill rescue Ricky Bobby.


Chicago’s new ordinance, which passed with a vote of 49 to 1, will help decrease the number of animals held in these types of horrendous situations by diminishing demand once it goes into effect in 2015.

In place of retail sales of cats and dogs, Chicago pet stores will be required to feature dogs, cats, and rabbits from shelters and other “humane not-for-profit organizations,” increasing the number of animal adoptions and lowering euthanasia rates.


As Chicago’s County Clerk Office writes, “The legislation cuts off a pipeline animals from the horrendous puppy mill industry and instead moves the City to a retail pet sales model that focuses on adopting out the many, many homeless animals in need of homes in this City.”

Chicago’s move is a win for animals all around!

There are a number of ways you can help end pet homelessness today. Find out how right here.

Image source: Grant.C / Flickr