City officials pass pet sales ban ordinance

New York May Ban Animal Sales In Pet Stores
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 01, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The city of Lexington has given the green light to a ban on pet sales and now local pet stores have four months to change how they operate.

The ban that has been in the works for months to prevent pet stores from selling cats and dogs has officially passed. Jennifer Reynolds, a councilwoman for the city of Lexington, initiated the conversation around the ban and is proud to see it come together.

"We don't want an overabundance of animals that are not getting their needs met because there's not enough people to keep up with the demand and we don't want our animals being mistreated," explains Reynolds. "Best practice is, you know, not to sell cats or dogs. If you want to get a cat or dog for your family, go directly to a breeder."

The ban won't allow pet stores like Petland and Most Valuable Pets in Lexington, to sell cats and dogs since they come from a third party. If the stores do not comply by November 1st, Reynolds says they could be fined $500 for every animal sold or offered. Anyone who sells a dog or cat at a flea market or parking lot will also be fined $500.

This ban does not apply to humane societies and shelters that have adoptable pets at stores like PetSmart.

"I never want to set out to put a business out of business. However, when we're talking about treating animals a certain way I think it's important we do that even if it means changing our business practices," admits Reynolds.

Elizabeth Kunzelman, who's the Petland vice president of legislative and public affairs, released this statement in regards to the pet sales ban:

"A ban should never be the first option. There are a multitude of solutions available that discourage puppy mills without shutting down legal businesses. We reached out to every council member many times to discuss the proposed ban and to offer solutions such as regulating businesses and sharing business records to promote accountability and transparency. Breeder trips were offered so council members could see first-hand the responsible, regulated breeders from whom we purchase our puppies. Not one accepted our offer. We have been told on multiple occasions that this ordinance was a ‘done deal’ and there was nothing we could do about it. We are constituents too. Politics should not be used as a weapon against legally operating businesses such as ours.”
Elizabeth Kunzelman, Petland VP of Legislative and Public Affairs

"They've known about this for many months and I've talked to both of the pet stores to get their perspectives," states Reynolds. "I think it comes back to the fact these animals are being bred in mass quantities and then they're turning around and being sold for a very high price."

Reynolds hopes this ban will reduce not only the amount of stray animals but also help shelters stay below capacity.