MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — St. Paul City Council members are considering a new ordinance that would ban pet stores from selling animals from so-called puppy and kitten mills.

Just last month, about 200 dogs were rescued from an overcrowded breeding facility near the Minnesota-Iowa border. An investigation revealed the animals were living in dilapidated kennels with no access to clean water.

The new ordinance would prevent dogs like these from ever being sold in pet stores, and eventually making their way into people’s homes and hearts.

The measure would ban businesses from buying or selling animals from large-scale commercial breeders.

Instead, stores would be able to work with shelters and rescues to host adoption events, like the Animal Humane Society.

(credit: CBS)

“What it does not do is put pet stores out of business, it just has them transition to a different model,” said Kathy Mock of the Animal Humane Society.

Kristin Smith, owner Four Paws and a Tail in Blaine, calls the term puppy mill “derogatory.”

“It’s what people use to malign you, it’s what people use to swear at you, in their way,” Smith said.

She says the measure is based on feelings, not facts.

“The puppies that we sell come from very reputable, licensed breeders. They’re regulated,” Smith said.

Right now, there are not any pet stores in St. Paul that sell puppies from breeding facilities after Petland in the Sun Ray Shopping Center closed its doors.

“It’s much better for small businesses in our community if ordinances are in place before they open up in St. Paul so they know what to expect,” said St. Paul City Councilmember Rebecca Noecker.

A final vote on the ordinance will take place next week. If it passes, St. Paul would be the third, and largest city in the state, to have such a rule in place.

Comments (2)
  1. Jo Jodi Matteson - Bishir says:

    About 4 years ago I adopted a male breeder from a puppy mill that had been busted by the ASPCA. We weren’t sure he would live he was in such bad shape, but he had such a will to live he recovered. My heart breaks whenever I think about the torture he endured. I couldn’t ask for a more loving, faithful companion. I urge everyone I know to NOT buy from pet stores, because of my baby.

  2. The City of Saint Paul doesn’t have jurisdiction over commerce — the city charter spells out the role of the city government. And the rules at the State level say city charters aren’t allowed to disadvantage businesses in the city, and rules must be uniform with the rest of the state.