There are up to 10,000 puppy mills across the U.S.
That's more than enough to keep an animal lover awake at night.
Have you heard about these places? They're overcrowded and operate largely under the radar. Careless breeding practices means generations of dogs with health defects are born into unsanitary conditions, and female dogs are overbred and often killed once they are no longer of use, according to the ASPCA.
These places are sickening, to say the least.
The City of Boston has had enough — enough to take legal action, that is.
Currently, no pet stores in Boston sell animals from commercial breeders (go Boston!), but a pet store chain had plans to make its way into the city limits.
On March 2, 2016, Boston's city council unanimously approved the "puppy mill bill," which bans commercial breeders from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits in the city. Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed it into law last week, The Boston Globe reported.
“This is a very important piece of legislation that goes after the inhumane factories known as puppy mills,” explained Councilor Matt O’Malley, who proposed the ban. “It will also prohibit the sale of dogs on the street corner or in parking lots.”
The law was a preemptive one. And the good news is, it appears the new measure may complicate the pet store chain's plans to set up shop in Beantown.
This month is really shaping up to be big one for animal welfare advocates (and a lousy one for puppy mills).
Just a few states away, a smaller city dealt commercial breeders yet another blow.
The city council of Grove City, Ohio, just passed a similar law to Boston's — one that bans pet stores from selling animals obtained from puppy mills.
The ban means all animals sold in Grove City need to be from shelters or rescues, 10TV News in Columbus reported.
It may be a smaller market than Bah-sten, but still — pretty damn cool.
“If people really did their research and really knew what they were buying and how those animals were treated, I think that most people would not buy those dogs," Kristen Ebsen, who supported the ban, told 10TV News. "So I just want to let people know if they're considering buying a dog from a pet store, really do your research."
Can I get a hell yeah for Boston and Grove City?
The best part about all of this is that you don't need to live in Boston or Grove City to fight back against puppy mills.
Like Ebsen noted, the more people realize where their pets come from, the more likely they are to adopt a rescue than contribute to the puppy mill economy.
If you're in the market to welcome a new (furry) family member, you can find a shelter near you. Our four-legged friends thank you for it.