Oppose: Retail Pet Sale Ban Preemption (Indiana)

H.B. 1412​​

This bill seeks to prohibit municipalities from passing retail pet sale bans, which protect animals from the cruelty of commercial puppy and kitten mills.


February 27, 2024

Work Type




​The Animal Legal Defense Fund​ opposes ​this bill.​

Sponsors:​ State Rep. Beau Baird (R-44), with co-authors Reps. Mike Aylesworth (R-11) and Robert Morris (R-84); State Sens. Blake Doriot (R-12) and Jean Leising (R-42)
Introduction Date:​ January 11, 2024

To combat the cruelty of commercial puppy and kitten mills, a growing number of localities have enacted retail pet sale bans. Unfortunately, Indiana lawmakers are currently considering a bill, H.B. 1412, that would undermine these humane reforms. This bill would prohibit Indiana municipalities from regulating pet stores and breeders that are registered with the state. It would prevent municipalities from enacting popular retail pet sale bans, and void the 21 existing local retail pet sale bans in the state.

Dogs in puppy mills suffer immensely — they often live in barren, filthy conditions with no access to veterinary care, regular exercise, or socialization. Infection and lifelong health problems are common among puppies raised in these conditions. Unfortunately, many pet stores across the country source the dogs they sell from these mills, prioritizing profit over the welfare of the animals.

Hundreds of localities across the United States have enacted retail pet sale bans, prohibiting pet stores from selling dogs and cats sourced from commercial breeders. In response, pet store lobbyists are pressuring lawmakers to pass harmful preemption laws, blocking cities’ and counties’ right to pass retail pet sale bans. Pet store lobbyists claim these laws are necessary to ensure that there are uniform laws across a state. In reality, puppy mill preemption laws simply rob cities and counties of the ability to pass laws their residents want.

​​Why is this law important? ​ Pet stores make ideal partners for mills because they allow the cruelty at the mills to remain hidden from consumers. Pet stores that sell dogs routinely defraud consumers by misrepresenting the health and origin of their puppies. These stores often advertise puppies as coming from “reputable” or “family” breeders when they are actually from puppy mills.

Retail pet sale bans are a powerful way for communities to fight puppy mills because they limit the supply and demand of mill-bred animals, reduce financial incentives for mill operators, and encourage the adoption of rescued animals in need of homes. If enacted, H.B. 1412 would void 21 existing retail sales bans across Indiana and prevent any more from being enacted. The right of local governments and residents to protect themselves and animals from bad actors must be preserved.

​​For more information about animal protection legislation​ in Indiana ​and opportunities to take action for animals, visit aldf.org/​indiana.

Related Content