August 09, 2010

El Paso City Council to Vote on Puppy Mill Ban

August 9th, 2010

From Animal Legal Defense Fund

Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Tom Linney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

El Paso, Texas – Tomorrow morning, the El Paso City Council is voting on Mayor John Cook and the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee’s proposed ban on the sale of non-shelter dogs and cats at pet stores – effectively banning the sale of animals bred at filthy “puppy mills.” A representative of the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which has advised the Mayor office on the ordinance, will appear before the City Council to speak in support of the ban. The ordinance, which would be the first of its kind in Texas if passed, allows for an exemption for the adoptions of shelter and rescue animals and for people who purchase animals directly from a breeder.
When: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 8:30 am
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 2 Civic Center Plaza, El Paso

El Paso joins a growing list of cities in America to consider retail pet sale bans. Since Albuquerque, N.M. passed a similar ban, animal adoptions have increased by 23 percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent. South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood, Calif. have both passed bans, and other cities in Florida, New Mexico, Missouri, and elsewhere are currently considering similar bans on the sale of dogs and cats from pet stores.

Puppy mills are commercial "factories" where the "product" is puppies and dogs who are treated as machines. “Breeding” dogs are kept in overcrowded wire cages for their entire lives with little, if any, human contact or veterinary care. If the puppy mill is outdoors, the dogs are unprotected from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. They live with the stench of their own urine and feces and, if the cages are stacked on top of each other, the dogs on the lower level are hit with excrement from above. “Puppy mill puppies are sold in pet stores,” explains ALDF attorney Tom Linney, an El Paso resident who will speak before the City Council in support of the ordinance. “The simplest way to assure concerned El Paso consumers that they are not supporting puppy mills is to ban the sale of animals at pet stores, and to encourage ‘pet stores’ to serve as facilities for adoptions from shelters and rescue groups instead.”

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit

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