Berkley OKs ordinance to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats, rabbits

Animal rights advocates scored another victory this month in Berkley with an ordinance to ban pet shops from selling cats, dogs, and rabbits.

In a unanimous decision, the Berkley City Council voted to prohibit retail pet stores from selling furry friends, effective Oct. 18. This includes the adoption, exchange, or transfer of cats, dogs, and rabbits.

The move comes after eight months of input from the community and research on retail pet stores, according to the city.

“Through listening to community members and working to better understand how and where pet retail businesses receive animals, we have learned most of these animals are sourced from large-scale inhumane commercial breeding facilities where their health and welfare are disregarded in order to maximize profits,” Berkley Mayor Bridget Dean said in a release. “We also have learned pet store consumers often end up with sick animals, large veterinary bills, and the heartbreak of caring for a sick animal or, in some cases, having a new pet die.

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Berkley is far from the first city in the state to implement an ordinance of this type, including cities like Royal Oak and Ann Arbor, and states across the nation have adopted similar measures to fight inhumane commercial breeding.

The new ordinance does not stop pet stores from partnering with local animal shelters to promote adoption and find loving homes for pets. Existing pet stores are not expected to be negatively affected, as most stores sell pet food, accessories, and services, according to the city.

Businesses that violate the ordinance could be hit with fines of a maximum of $500.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Berkley pet stores banned from selling dogs, cats, rabbits