A dog explains why Phoenix's pet store law is such a big win for shelter animals.
In the name of representation, I thought it'd be best if we let an actual dog tackle this topic, transcribed (and loosely translated into human-speak) by me, Evan Porter. Enjoy!
Hey! I'm a rescue pup.
I was born a stray, but now I live in a shelter, which means I'm moving up in the world!
But there is some even more awesome news this week that has me and my puppy friends spinning in nonstop circles.
Two years ago, Phoenix told pet stores they were only allowed to sell rescue animals like me.
I was just a puppy back then, not the handsome hound you see today. Pet stores in Phoenix that sell dogs from puppy mills just got a whack on the nose from one of those people who wear black robes and bang those funny wooden hammers that look like something a dog ought to be allowed to chew on.
At the time, some people weren't happy about the new rule and tried to get it thrown out, but this week, that fancy robe-wearing judge-person upheld the decision, which is great news for dogs like me (he also upheld the decision not to let dogs chew on his hammer thingy, which is not great news because it looks sooo chewable).
The judge's decision is important because there are these really bad places called puppy mills, and laws like this one are working to shut them down.
It turns out that most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills; at least, that's what my human friends at the ASPCA say. I might only be a dog, but even I understand basic economics: Without the demand for their product (puppies!), these puppy mills are more likely to go away for good.
It's good news for me and my pals, but not everyone is excited.
We don't see a lot of "purebred" puppies here at my shelter, but apparently, they're a big deal to some humans. This new law says pet stores can't sell dogs from breeders, and that's made some people pretty grumpy.
The owners of the Puppies 'N Love pet store in Phoenix got really mad about this back in 2013, and they "sued" the city — whatever that means. The owners said since the law said they couldn't sell dogs from breeders anymore, they would probably go out of business.
The American Kennel Club isn't a fan of this law either because they think it's more important for humans to be able to pick a specific breed of dog than it is to make sure puppy mills are shut down.
"AKC supports freedom of choice for pet purchasers," they said, and, "Those seeking a puppy of a particular breed … may be out of luck."
Well boo-freaking-hoo! It's mutts like me who end up living on the streets while breeders and puppy mills supply purebred puppies straight to pet stores. Why would a pet store want a brand new pup when there are already so many who need good homes?
And besides, I challenge you to find a purebred cuter than me.
I'll wait — I'm really good at "stay"!
Anything that gets us animals off the streets and into loving homes gets four paws up from me.
Maricopa County, where Phoenix sits (good boy, Phoenix!), is second in the nation in pet overpopulation. To give you a taste, my buddies at the Arizona Humane Society say there are about 250,000 free-roaming cats there, and from my time on the streets, I can confirm that I've sniffed at least that many butts.
If saving more animals in need (even cats, yuck) and shutting down cruel puppy mills means professional breeders have to take a hit, that seems like a pretty OK deal to me.
I don't know what a city councillor is, but this one from Phoenix City named Thelda Williams said something I really liked: "[This law] means more protection for puppy lovers and the puppies themselves. We have so many dogs in Arizona that need homes; we don't need to import them."
I'll shake on that.