Members of the Dallas City Council on Wednesday banned the sale of live puppies and kittens in pet stores.
The Humane Pet Store ordinance goes into effect in six months. This gives Dallas Petland, the only store in Dallas that still sells live animals, a chance to end the business.
Petland supporters and blue-shirted workers were among two dozen public speakers to oppose or support the new law at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
“I ask that you consider keeping the doors open at Petland Dallas because we would like to continue to serve our community,” said Dominique Conner, Petland’s Director of Sales.
Employees said they work hard to provide customers with a great experience and follow up to make sure the puppies are happy and healthy.
Owner Jay Suk said Petland only sells animals from licensed breeders inspected by the US Department of Agriculture.
“If there are violations in the past two years, I prohibit the breeder from working with our store,” Suk said.
But animal activists, many wearing yellow T-shirts, insisted the Dallas Petland store had recently purchased animals from puppy mills, where conditions are inhumane.
“We need to step down today to make a difference in this horrible problem,” said Tommy Habeeb of the Forever Family Rescue Foundation.
Customers who have had good and bad experiences buying puppies from Petland spoke to the town council.
But after the long list of speakers, the Dallas City Council’s vote in favor of the new law was unanimous.
The Dallas Petland Store is in Gay Councilmember Donnell Willis’ District 13.
“Nine other cities in Texas and more than 400 across the country are wise enough to ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores,” Willis said.
Councilman Jesse Moreno said he once had a bad experience buying a puppy from a store and he didn’t want other people to have that chance.
“We will all still have the opportunity to get new dogs and cats from our local shelters or find breeders after doing some research,” Moreno said.
Councilman Omar Narvaez said he appreciates the words of store employees who seem sincere in their desire to be kind to animals and customers. But, he was convinced by information from animal activists.
“I will support this order because it is the right thing to do,” Narvaez said.
Advocates of the new law said other pet stores in Dallas seem to be selling pet supplies and promoting adoption very well.
Petland owner Suk said it would be forced to close.
Fort Worth passed a similar law in 2018.