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Phoenix, Ariz., now joins the ranks of West Hollywood, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Fountain, Colo.; Coral Gables, Fla.; and 35 other U.S. and Canadian cities in banning the sale of both dogs and cats in pet stores! Woohoo!

The Phoenix City Council passed the pet sale ban ordinance last Wednesday with a vote of 5-3. “Yes” voters included council members Velda Williams, Tom Simplot, Daniel Valenzuela, Michael Nowakowski, and even Mayor Greg Stanton. (Be sure to thank them via email here.)

This ordinance is a great step in the fight against puppy and kitten mills, where dogs and cats live in deplorable conditions with little to no exercise, stimulation, water, food, and veterinary care. Some rescues have even been discovered caked in feces and suffering from paralysis like Ricky Bobby.

Many pet store puppies and kittens often come from these sorts of horrendous situations, and unsuspecting consumers purchase their companions not knowing where they came from or even what medical conditions they might already possess due to their prior lack of care.

According to, Pheonix’s ordinance speaks out against “the abusive practices of some large-scale animal breeders” and will help diminish “the Valley’s pet overpopulation,” by advising residents to adopt rather than shop for their four-legged companions.

“By shrinking the supply of puppy mill dogs flowing into our market, the ordinance is expected to boost adoptions for homeless animals and increase sales for small, responsible dog breeders,” said Humane Society of the United States’ Arizona State Director, Kari Nienstedt.

The ordinance does have an exemption for small “backyard” breeders and those who raise dogs and cats at their home or business, reports, yet it also bans the use of “animals as prizes” at carnivals and amusement parks, which includes goldfish, insects, bunnies, and other critters (another nice piece of news to hear!).

With 2.7 million healthy and adoptable dogs and cats put down every year in U.S. shelters, Phoenix’s ban on cat and dog sales in pet stores is a welcomed change.

Residents of Phoenix: loveable shelter cats and dogs await you! So, go ahead, visit them today! (They’ll thank you with kisses & tail wags, guaranteed!)

Image source: Viking / Flickr