MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The city of Roseville says pet shops can no longer sell cats or dogs — a first-of-its-kind decision in Minnesota.

In fact, pet shops across the state and the country are changing the way they do business.

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From Ragnar, the Benton County K-9; to Reggie, WCCO’s unofficial mascot; to Blanche, who keeps Mike Max’s hunting trips on track — it’s easy to tell Minnesotans love their pets.

Christine Coughlin, an animal rights advocate with the Humane Society of America, is no exception. She has a cat who she says is ornery.

“My cat’s name is Indy because he’s horribly independent [laughs]!” Coughlin said.

She calls Roseville City Council’s decision a “successful vote.”

“This is historic. This is the first city in the state to have enacted an ordinance like this,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

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Har Mar Pet Shop is the only store doing so in the area. The decision comes after the shop got a less-than-shining report from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The report shows an English Bulldog had a bulging eye and wasn’t getting veterinary care. It also showed hamsters had missing eyes. But if you turn the page to the next report, you’ll see things were corrected and there were no new problems.

Har Mar staff tell WCCO they are disappointed by the council’s decision. Coughlin has the opposite reaction.

“It’s definitely started a discussion. I mean, the interest in this is enormous,” she said.

Roseville is the first city in the state to make this pet law, but she says 223 jurisdictions around the country made the same decision.

“Pet stores in response, many of them of their own accord have begun transitioning to more of a humane model where they work with shelters and rescues to adopt out animals, and they make their money by selling supplies or selling services, and they’re successful,” Coughlin said.

Har Mar’s staff tells WCCO they are just absorbing the news, and they have not decided what they are going to do. They have six months to phase out their system.

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This does not affect private home breeders. The council is hoping though it sends a message they do not want large-scale breeders and puppy mills in their area.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield