The Lafayette, Colorado, City Council has asked staff to draft an ordinance to ban all sales of dogs and cats in the city, except for those from shelters and rescues.
The City of Lafayette already has a dog ownership limit which restricts breeders in city limits, but it is unclear if this proposal would prevent residents from being able to choose the source from where they can get a pet for their family. The council is expected to begin discussing the ordinance at its next meeting on March 21. Lafayette residents are strongly encouraged to contact the council members using this online form and selecting “all city council members” to send your concerns prior to the next meeting. Ask them to not ban all sales but instead support strong enforcement of the state’s consumer protection and cruelty laws.
The council discussion began with a consideration of a ban on pet store sales, but expanded to include private sales, as stated in the council minutes:
Council directed the City Attorney to draft an ordinance prohibiting all sales of dogs and cats in Lafayette with an exception for sales or adoptions by animal shelters, animal rescues, or other animal care organizations that comply with existing codes.
This action is intended to address the unfortunate reality that most dogs and cats offered for sale in pet stores come from puppy mills and kitten mills, which are inhumane commercial breeding facilities that disregard the animals’ physical, emotional, and social health in order to maximize profits.
The council is stating that the goal is to help dogs in shelters and rescues, but banning all sales of dogs is not the answer. In fact, ensuring that residents find the dog that is the right fit for their families and lifestyle is essential in reducing shelter populations.
Great pets come from a variety of sources, including breeders, responsible rescues, and regulated pet shops and shelters. But in every case, freedom of choice to select the right pet is the crucial first step to success. Restricting residents to only shelter or rescue dogs exacerbates the problem by failing to protect consumers and increasing demand for pets that are not subject to, and do not benefit from animal welfare regulations or health tests associated with existing consumer protection laws.
Breeders and hobbyists are encouraged to contact the council and express concerns with the proposal that would ban even private sales of dogs in the city. Let them know all you do to ensure the health and well-being of dogs you breed and sell, and of any contracts or other agreements you offer to protect the dog and seller.
Also review AKC’s article The Value of Responsible Dog Breeders for more talking points about why the council should instead be supporting responsible local breeders.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to provide updates as they are available. For more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.