Victory! Miami Just Banned the Sale of Dogs and Cats in Pet Stores

Animal advocates are celebrating another win for companion animals following an announcement that Miami, Fla., has become the latest city to ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores.

The Miami City Commission voted in favor of passing an ordinance introduced by Vice Chairman Ken Russell that bans the retail sale of cats and dogs, and will instead require stores that want to sell animals to work with shelters and rescues. The measure was passed in an effort to close the city’s doors to commercial breeders, otherwise known as puppy and kitten mills.

Even though many of these breeders are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, animals in their care are often left without proper shelter, access to food and water, veterinary care and socialization. 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 live in, and for customers who are unwittingly buying sick pets.

The latest move is another positive step among the city’s ongoing efforts to protect companion animals. As the Miami Herald notes, a county-wide law was passed in 2014 that requires pet stores to provide information about where animals are being obtained, but laws like that aren’t tough enough to address the problem.

Last year an ordinance was passed in nearby Palm Beach County that requires pet stores to make information about where they’re getting their dogs, in addition to requiring them to only get dogs from breeders licensed by the USDA that have three or fewer violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Unfortunately, a recent undercover investigation conducted by The Humane Society of the United States exposed the fact that many stores there were still sourcing puppies from problem breeders, and many refused to post information about where their puppies are coming from.

“Our findings show that sourcing laws are extremely limited in their ability to protect consumers from the unknowing purchase of dogs from puppy mills. Only a complete ban on selling puppies in pet stores will ensure that puppy mill dogs are not being sold there and that customers don’t end up with a potentially sick or mistreated puppy,” John Goodwin, senior director of the puppy mills campaign for The HSUS, said at the time.

Fortunately, as awareness about the problem grows, cities around the nation are taking action to ensure they’re not contributing to this cruelty, and are instead enacting laws that stop pet store sales, and encourage more people to adopt, or to find a reputable breeder. Miami now joins 50 other cities in the state that have adopted measures like this.

Russell said that shelters have already agreed to work with the city on providing the pet stores with adoptable animals to help store owners move away from selling animals who are supplied by puppy mills. He added that although the city can’t address the problem across the nation, the ordinance is a step in the right direction, adding that “We can’t control the supply but we can control the demand.”

If you want to see your city become the next to take a step like this to protect companion animals, you can help by starting a petition.


Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

Melania P
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

I think we will see the end of this in our lifetime; social media has played a very important role. Thanks for posting!

Margie F
Margie FOURIE1 years ago

Good for Miami - now for the millions of other towns and cities.

Fran away F
Fran F1 years ago

A very positive development!

Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D1 years ago

BRAVO MIAMI - I'm just loving this!!! The only thing that should be sold in pet stores is pet supplies. Waiting to hear who will be the next city to follow Miami's great choice.

Kay M
Kay M1 years ago

thanks. good start.

Karen B
Karen B1 years ago


Donna T
Donna T1 years ago

thank you

Ch Bradley
Ch B1 years ago

Puppies and kittens and othere species in pet stores are overwhelmingly from puppy/kitten mills. These "factory farms" for pets contribute greatly to pet overpopulation and euthanasia of innocent, healthy animals. They typically operate under extremely cruel, unsanitary conditions. Adopt, don't shop.

Berenice Guedes de Sá

Some good news for a change is always something good! Super well done Miami!!! Thanks for thia action!!