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On Monday, June 19, the Township of Mahwah, New Jersey, is scheduled to consider an ordinance that seeks to prohibit the retail sale of dogs and cats in retail stores.  This ordinance will limit pet choice and consumer protections for area families seeking a dog that fits their needs and lifestyle.

Retail pet sales bans and restrictions harm future pet owners and do nothing to improve animal welfare.  Retail bans:

  • Undermine or repeal consumer protections available to future pet owners,
  • Reduce the opportunity for future pet owners to obtain a pet that comes from a known and regulated source, and
  • Limits the choice of pets available.

A better solution is to consider broad consumer protection and cruelty laws that hold all accountable who sell or transport dogs and continuing to allow pet stores to source from all humane sources, including from licensed breeders.  Commercial breeders in and around New Jersey are already regulated by the USDA, and are required to follow all applicable state and federal animal welfare laws.

Video: Your Right to Choose a Pet
Issue Analysis: Bans on Retail Pet Sales Fail to Protect Pets, Undermine Responsible Pet Choice.
Talking Points: Retail Bans Undermine Consumer Choice.
Talking Points: Consumer Protection Laws Protect the Public and Animals.
For more about retail pet sales, visit AKC’s key issue page on Pet Choice.

New Jersey residents concerned with arbitrary limits on consumer choice are encouraged to express opposition to the ordinance to the members of the Mahwah Township Council via phone or email.

David May, Council President

Robert M. Ferguson, III, Council Vice President
201-529-5757, ext.230

Janet Ariemma

Kim Bolan
201- 529-5757, ext. 230

Ward Donigian

Michelle Crowe Paz

Jonathan S. Wong

Carolyn George, Municipal Clerk
201-529-5757 Ext 232

Mahwah residents are encouraged to attend the Monday, June 19, 2023, Township Council meeting to express opposition to the proposed ordinance.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7PM in the Honorable Anthony J. Gianni, Jr., Chambers of the Richard J. Martel Municipal Center, 475 Corporate Drive, Mahwah, New Jersey 07430.

Contact the American Kennel Club’s Government Relations Department at