This Arkansas City is First to Officially Ban on Retail Dog and Cat

The City Council here will need to rescind its ordinance banning retail sale of pets after Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders last week signed a bill prohibiting cities from taking such action, City Attorney Kit Williams said.

House Bill 1591, originally sponsored by State Rep. David Ray, R-Maumelle, became Act 730 and prohibits cities from regulating pet stores’ acquiring or selling animals from kennels, catteries or dealers licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its intent is to clarify the applicability of the Arkansas Retail Pet Store Act of 1991.

The council voted 8-0 in July to ban the retail sale of cats and dogs, unless from or in cooperation with the city’s animal shelter, another shelter or a nonprofit organization approved by the city’s Animal Services Division.

People who work for Animal Services and people who live in the community told the council that pet shops that sell animals often get them from “puppy mills” or facilities that breed a lot of dogs. The Agriculture Department can give licenses to mass breeders, but the council heard that they are mostly not stopped and animals are kept in terrible conditions.

At that point, Petland had been given a business license and its Fayetteville store, which would be southeast of Joyce Boulevard and Mall Avenue, would open in a few weeks. Samantha and Ryan Boyle, who own Petland stores in Fayetteville and Rogers, told the council that their animals don’t come from dog mills and that they have proof of this.

In August, Petland sued the city, and Benton County Circuit Judge Doug Schrantz issued a temporary restraining order that the city cannot enforce the ordinance. This order is still in place. When the city asked for summary judgment in January, Schrantz turned it down. If he had agreed, the case would have been over.

Also Read: Study Reveals the Drunkest City in Colorado That Will Surprise You

Williams said that the city will have until the law goes into effect in July to get rid of its rule. As long as there isn’t an emergency measure, bills signed by the governor become law 90 days after the end of the legislative session. Williams said that he will write some words for the council to think about in the next few weeks.

“The way our system of government is set up, they’re our superior government, and we will not do something that’s directly contrary to what state law says,” he stated. “I think our law did not violate any state law; in fact, that’s why they had to change the law.”

The Petland case is set to go to court with a jury on January 17. Williams said that he is ready to protect the city in court if the other side doesn’t drop the case. George Rozzell, Petland’s lawyer, said that the case will stay in place for now.

“[Petland’s] hope is that after this enactment, any dispute about its operation will soon subside,” he told us. “As litigation of Fayetteville’s pet store ordinance is ongoing, Petland Fayetteville withholds further comment.” John Goodwin, who is in charge of the Stop Puppy Mills program for the Humane Society of the United States, didn’t like that the bill became law.

“With a stroke of a pen, Gov. Huckabee Sanders has condemned more dogs to a life in a tiny cage, being bred until their bodies wear out, with their paws often never touching a blade of grass,” he stated. “Those responsible for this bill chose to align themselves with an out-of-state corporation that is notorious for selling sick puppies to unsuspecting families, while supporting puppy mill cruelty.”

Petland began in Chillicothe, Ohio, and now has more than 130 shops across the US. Sanders’s spokeswoman, Alexa Henning, said that the bill doesn’t change or weaken state law on how to treat animals, and that the Humane Society has decided to spread lies to cause fear.

“The governor is absolutely against all forms of animal cruelty and looks forward to constructive conversations about providing care for the safety and well-being of all our pets,” he said.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.