Victory! Atlanta Bans Pet Stores From Selling Cats and Dogs

Animal advocates are celebrating another win for companion animals in Atlanta, Ga., which just became the latest major city to ban pet store sales of cats and dogs.

The Atlanta City Council just passed an ordinance that bars pet stores from selling puppies and kittens – effective immediately –  in an effort to close the city’s doors to companion animals who come from puppy and kitten mills and instead promote adoptable animals.

“I thought it was best if the city was forward thinking and humane in its policies, alongside our polices for people,” Councilman Amir Farokhi, who proposed the legislation, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It seemed like a simple thing to do that would help our agencies.”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Atlanta is now the ninth city in the state to pass legislation like this as the movement to shut down mills spreads across the country for good reason.

Even though many of the breeders pet stores source from are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the standards these breeders are supposed to meet are ridiculously low, and animals in their care are often left without proper shelter, access to food and water, veterinary care and socialization as multiple investigations and inspections have shown. Not only are these conditions inherently cruel, they’re causing even more problems down the line for both animals who suffer physically and psychologically as a result of the conditions they’re kept in, and for customers who are unwittingly buying sick pets.

While there was opposition to passing this measure, as there has been elsewhere, supporters are applauding the change and continue to point out that plenty of perfectly wonderful animals will still be available at stores through partnerships with rescues and shelters, and no one is being stopped from working directly with a reputable breeder.

“Pet stores have been the primary sellers of cruelly bred puppy mill puppies, and these unscrupulous retail outlets profit from breeding practices that can cause animals to suffer from illness and congenital problems,” said Jennifer Hobgood, Director of State Legislation for the ASPCA, Southeast Region. “We thank Councilmember Amir Farokhi for leading this effort to ensure that pet stores that perpetuate the cycle of animal cruelty will not be able to set up shop in the city of Atlanta.”

Thankfully, growing awareness about the problem is bringing positive changes across the country in the form of bans like this. In the U.S., dozens of major cities across the nation have taken a stand against puppy mills by passing laws shutting down pet store sales of companion animals, which ultimately protect animals and consumers, and relieve taxpayers who are footing the bill for shelters to house and kill homeless pets.

Hopefully more cities will continue to follow the lead of others that have taken a compassionate and common-sense stand like this for companion animals.

If you want to see your city become one of the next to take an amazing step like this to stop cruelty to companion animals, you can help by starting a petition.


Photo credit: Getty Images


Shae Lee
Shae Lee16 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

rita uljee
rita u22 days ago

that`s the way! thanks Atlanta.

Shirley S
Shirley S22 days ago

Well done Atlanta !

Sophie A
Sophie A22 days ago

thank you

Christine Stewart


michela c
michela c22 days ago

Thank you Altanta!

Carole R
Carole R23 days ago

Wonderful news.

Elaine W
Elaine W23 days ago

I am glad to hear this ;)

Janet B
Janet B23 days ago


Sharon T
Sharon T24 days ago

Great move. Thanks Atlanta