Indianapolis has joined more than 440 localities in the United States by passing a ban on pet stores selling cats, dogs, and rabbits.
Proposal 57, passed by the Indianapolis City-County Council, aims to encourage people to adopt pets from animal shelters, promote pet stores partnering with shelters and rescues, and protect consumers. The proposal was co-sponsored by Councillors John Barth, Zach Adamson, Dan Boots, Jason Larrison, and Ali Brown, and it will allow existing pet stores in the city two years to transition to a new business model, which may include selling animals sourced from Animal Care Services or rescue organizations.
Councillor John Barth noted that this initiative would contribute to reducing the demand for puppy mills, easing the burden on animal care services, and joining an effort that has already seen 13 Indiana cities stopping the sale of commercially raised pets in pet stores. Council Vice President Zach Adamson expressed his satisfaction with Proposal 57, stating that it had been a long time coming, with years of planning and coordination with constituents, non-profit animal welfare groups, and pet stores.
Proposal 57 has received support from various animal welfare organizations, including Indy Humane, Friends of Indy Animals, Guardian Angel Basset Rescue, Love of Labs Indiana, Medical Mutts, Golden Retriever Rescue, Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, FACE Low-Cost Clinic, and Indiana House Rabbit Society. However, last month, the Indiana State Senate passed a bill that would prevent local bans on pet stores selling dogs, which has now been sent to the House for consideration.
The proposed ban on pet stores selling cats, dogs, and rabbits in Indianapolis reflects a growing trend across the US. By discouraging the sale of commercially raised pets, such as those sold in pet stores, the ban aims to promote responsible pet ownership, reduce animal cruelty and suffering, and encourage people to adopt pets from animal shelters. While there may be challenges and opposition to the proposal, it is a step towards a more humane and ethical treatment of animals in the pet trade.