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The Colorado Springs City Council has proposed an ordinance to ban the retail sale of cats and dogs at pet stores in the city. The council will hold a meeting on November 9 at 10:00am where they will begin considering the newly drafted ordinance.

The ordinance would continue to allow pet stores to operate but it would require them to only offer dogs that come from rescues or shelters effectively forcing them to offer dogs that do not come with consumer protections and comprehensive health histories.

The AKC opposes the proposed ordinance and encourages dog owners in the Colorado Springs area to contact the city council urging them to oppose the ordinance.

Why it matters:

Retail bans limit the ability of residents to select pets in a responsible manner, based on the breed, health and temperament traits that they seek and make a good match for their lifestyle. They also severely limit Colorado’s excellent consumer protection laws, as shelters and rescues cannot always provide the same guarantees, health, background, and other essential information needed to help a consumer make an informed choice when purchasing a dog.

Local residents may be wanting a quality purpose-bred pet and may not have access to a local breeder, do not want to be put on a long waiting list, etc.  Instead, they may wish to purchase a dog from a regulated, licensed pet store where they can still get the consumer protections, the health history, and ongoing professional relationships they desire. For more information on AKC’s position on pet store regulations and pet choice, visit

In addition, the language in this proposed ordinance would only allow a nonprofit rescue or shelter to supply dogs to pet stores, but it additionally specifies that these nonprofits cannot have a connection to breeders. This is an issue because of the many AKC breeders and/or AKC clubs volunteering their time and resources to breed rescue. This ordinance would prevent dogs in these breed rescues from being offered for adoption by a pet store, and many of the best breed experts will no longer be able to help with rescue if the dogs are showcased at pet store adoption events.

The state of Colorado has already taken steps to address concerns over the retail sale of dogs in pet stores. Earlier this year, Colorado passed legislation creating new regulations that allowed pet stores to continue operating in the state, so long as they are selling dogs sourced from responsible breeders and disclosing certain information. While the new law does allow for more stringent local laws on this issue, Colorado Springs should allow time for these new state regulations to work before forcing through this onerous and ineffective legislation.

How you can help:

Residents of Colorado Springs and surrounding areas should submit written comments to the Colorado Springs City Council urging them to oppose the ordinance banning the sale of dogs at pet stores. Written comments can be submitted to city council here.

For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at