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Help Pass a Ban on the Sale of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits in Your State

Help Pass a Ban on the Sale of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits in Your State

Name: Banning the Sale of Cats, Dogs, and Rabbits in Pet Stores

Each year, more than two million dogs, cats and rabbits are born in large-scale commercial breeding facilities, where they are kept in inhumane conditions that make them susceptible to disease and birth defects. One way to combat these abuses and put puppy, kitten and rabbit mills out of business is to prohibit pet shops from selling companion animals that come from large-scale commercial breeding operations. Removing sales outlets would help end the demand for commercially-bred companion animals, protect consumers from purchasing unhealthy animals, and encourage the adoption of rescue and shelter dogs, cats and rabbits in need of homes. 

To date, only California has adopted a statewide ban. However, hundreds of individual counties and cities across the country have also passed such bans. If you would like to support a law to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in your state for the upcoming 2019 legislative session, please contact your state legislators and ask them to sponsor a bill such as the model law, provided.  

You may also want to download a copy of the model law and send it to your city or county representatives and ask them to consider adopting this ban.


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your state Senator and Representative and urge them to support this legislation.
  2. Download a copy of the model law and send it to your city and county representatives.
  3. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.



  • Your State Senator or Senators
  • Your State Representative or Representatives


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Please support a ban on the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores in 2019

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support for legislation that would ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores throughout our state in the upcoming 2019 session.

Each year, more than two million dogs, cats and rabbits are born in these facilities, while at the same time millions of dogs, cats and rabbits are euthanized in shelters because they could not find a home. This legislation is an essential step in reducing the number of large-scale commercial breeding facilities--puppy mills, kitten mills and rabbit mills--that subject animals to inhumane conditions, while passing on to consumers animals who are unsocialized, exposed to disease and highly susceptible to birth defects.

I hope that you will give your support to legislation to expand protection for consumers who are offered unhealthy and unsocialized animals in pet stores and to reduce the suffering of animals indiscriminately bred and raised in inhumane conditions.

Below you will find a model law to consider in drafting legislation.

Model Law Banning the Sale of Cats, Dogs and Rabbits in Pet Stores

Sec. 1. Rationale

The documented abuses of puppy and kitten mills include over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal or no veterinary care and a lack of adequate food, water, shelter, socialization and adequate space. In addition, unsold animals are either routinely euthanized or dumped in animal shelters or animal control facilities. Inhumane conditions in puppy and kitten mill facilities can lead to health and behavioral issues with animals, which many consumers are unaware of when purchasing animals from retailers. These health and behavioral issues can impose significant financial and emotional costs on consumers, who may not know of these problems for months or even years after their purchase. Removing a market for these animals is the best way to combat the overbreeding and sale of unhealthy animals for the sake of the animals and for the sake of consumers who purchase them.

Sec. 2. Definitions

(a) Animal Control Authority: A governmental entity that is responsible for animal control operations within its jurisdiction.

(b) Animal Rescue Organization: Any non-for-profit organization that has tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, that is licensed and inspected by state or local authorities and whose mission is, in whole or significant part, the rescue of animals and the placement of those animals in permanent homes but does not breed animals.

(c) Animal Rescue Shelter: Any non-for-profit organization which has tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is licensed and inspected by state or local authorities which:

1. accepts animals into a physical facility;

2. is devoted to the rescue, care and adoption of stray, abandoned, unwanted or surrendered animals;

3. places animals in permanent homes or with animal rescue organizations; and

4. does not breed animals.

(d) Certificate of Source: A document that includes the name, address and telephone number of the original source of a cat, dog or rabbit. The certificate shall be signed by the purchaser or transferee of the animal acknowledging the receipt of the certificate and shall include the breed, color, age and approximate weight of the animal at the time of acquisition.

(e) Pet Store: Any retail establishment, or operator thereof, which displays, sells, delivers, offers for sale, barters, auctions, gives away or otherwise transfers companion animals. This definition does not apply to animal control authorities, animal shelters or animal rescue organizations.

(f) Pet Store Operator: A person or business entity who owns or operates a pet store.

Sec. 3. Prohibition of Sale in Pet Shops

A pet shop shall not sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away or otherwise transfer or dispose of a cat, dog or rabbit.

Sec. 4. Exception

Nothing in section 2 shall prohibit pet stores from collaborating with animal shelters, animal rescue organizations and animal control authorities to offer space for such entities to showcase adoptable cats, dogs and rabbits inside pet stores. The following restrictions shall apply to animals showcased for adoption in pet stores:

(a) Cats, dogs and rabbits showcased for adoption shall not be younger than 8 weeks old.

(b) Dogs showcased for adoption shall not be kept overnight at a pet store.

(c) Cats and rabbits showcased for adoption shall not be kept overnight at a pet store without provision for care and monitoring outside of pet store business hours.

Sec. 5. Certificate of Source

For animals that are showcased for adoption under subsection 3, a pet store shall post and maintain a Certificate of Source in a conspicuous place on the cat, dog or rabbit's kennel, cage or enclosure. The following principles apply to Certificates of Source under this section:

(a) A Certificate of Source shall be provided to the adopter of any cat, dog or rabbit.

(b) Certificate of Source records for each cat, dog or rabbit shall be maintained by a pet store for at least one year from the last date that a cat, dog or rabbit appeared in the store.

(c) Pet stores shall make Certificates of Source immediately available for review upon the request of a law enforcement officer or animal control authority.

(d) Falsification of a Certificate of Source shall be deemed a violation of this section.

Sec. 6. Penalties

A pet store operator who violates this section commits a civil violation, punishable with a fine not to exceed $500 per animal, per day or imprisonment in jail not to exceed 120 days, or both a fine and imprisonment.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]