Retail Pet Sale Ban (Florida)
Prohibits retail pet stores from selling puppies and kittens (H.B. 253)
H.B. 253, sponsored by Rep. Sam Killebrew (R-41), would prohibit pet stores from selling dogs and cats. Instead, stores would be able to partner with animal shelters and rescue organizations to offer animals for adoption. More than 70 local governments in Florida have already banned the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.
“Puppy mills” and “kitten mills” refer to large-scale commercial breeding operations where profits are prioritized over the well-being of the animals. Mills produce as many animals as possible, as quickly as possible, in order to make money. Virtually all animals sold in pet stores are produced by mills. Stores are an ideal partner for mills because they allow the cruelty at the mills to remain hidden from consumers.
H.B. 253, sponsored by Rep. Sam Killebrew (R-41), would prohibit Florida pet stores from selling dogs and cats. Instead, stores would be able to partner with animal shelters and rescue organizations to offer rescued animals for adoption. More than 70 local governments in Florida have already banned the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, and five U.S. states — Maryland, California, Maine, Washington, and Illinois — have banned the retail sale of dogs and cats.
Animals bred in mills experience severe cruelty and neglect. They are denied adequate veterinary care and the nutrition, exercise, and companionship they need to thrive. Typically kept in tiny cages 24 hours a day and denied the ability to socialize with other animals or run outdoors, mother dogs are forced to have multiple litters every year until their bodies give out. Once they are no longer considered profitable, they are often abandoned or even killed.
Prohibiting the sale of puppies and kittens bred in mills also protects consumers. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has represented numerous families who have been left with hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinary bills caring for gravely ill animals purchased from pet stores that made false or misleading claims about the animals’ veterinary care. Despite intervention, some of the animals died.