Salt Lake County ordinance to ban pet store sales

You are here

Cat in window pic

UPDATE: The ordinance passed and will go into effect soon!

MURRAY, UT (Oct. 6, 2015) -- The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) supports a proposed ordinance to make it unlawful to sell any dog, cat or rabbit from any pet shop, retail business or other commercial animal establishment located in Salt Lake County and would require these animals to be obtained only from an animal shelter. A meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, to vote on this new ordinance. The HSU feels the decision to pass this ordinance will be a great step forward in decreasing pet overpopulation problems in Utah.

"We strongly supports this ordinance, it has been a long time coming. The resale of dogs, cats and rabbits through pet stores has been a contributing factor in pet overpopulation because these animals are not spayed or neutered when sold and unwanted animals end up in shelters like the Humane Society of Utah,” said Gene Baierschmidt, HSU executive director. “There are plenty of great animals available for adoption in shelters and rescues."

Petco and PetSmart have only offered animals for adoption from shelters or rescue groups for many years.

“We usually see irresponsible backyard breeders or puppy mills producing high quantities of animals to be sold in pet stores, leading to pet overpopulation and needless animal suffering,” Baierschmidt said.

The ordinance will only apply to commercial or retail establishments and not private breeders. If any person desires to obtain a specific breed of animal, they can still do so through a responsible private breeder.

The Humane Society of Utah reminds the public that many animals in shelters are purebreds and encourages adoption first.

Many animal rescue organizations also specialize in the rescue, care and adoption of purebreds.

The Humane Society of Utah encourages incorporated cities outside of Salt Lake County to adopt this ordinance if passed.