Two proposed bills in Minnesota are hoping to ban the sales of cats and dogs from commercial breeders in traditional pet stores across state of Minnesota. Three states including Maryland, California, Maine, and more than 340 local jurisdictions across the United States have passed similar bills. Senator Karla Bigham, who wrote the bill, said "the bill is not to punish breeders, but to cut off demand from middlemen." She goes on to mention that she is aiming more at puppy mills, who can house up to 700 animals at a property, who are forced to live in terrible conditions. House Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn mentions that it is time to catch up with other states who have already put this ban in place. She goes onto mention that there is not many pet stores left statewide in Minnesota. With most people in favor of this new bill, there are some that are not.
Kristen Smith, owner of Four Paws and a Tail pet store in Blaine, Minnesota was devastated to hear the news about the bill. She has had her store for 30 years and has been working with breeders to find pets for her customers. She mentions that "we are pretty much busy all the time and mostly sell non-shedding house dogs."
With so many animals waiting for their forever homes in shelters and humane societies, this seems like the right bill to put in place. If the bill does pass, pet stores would only be allowed to host adoption events with animal shelters and rescue organizations. The bill would also not prevent individuals from going directly to breeders. If the bill passes, any pet shops selling pets through breeders will face a civil fine of 1,000 dollars for every violation.