Connect with us

Local News

Indiana Senate passes bill to block local bans on dog sales in pet stores



Indianapolis, Indiana – Local governments wouldn’t be able to prohibit the sale of dogs at pet businesses thanks to a statehouse plan.

A few Indiana cities, like Carmel and Bloomington, have passed their own laws limiting the selling of dogs and cats at pet businesses. Such policies seek to discourage puppy mills while promoting animal adoption.

One was recently approved in Carmel, prohibiting the sale of cats and dogs by pet retailers.

“When we passed our ordinance in Carmel, not a single common resident contacted me with negative input,” said Councilmember Adam Aasen, who led the effort.

Aasen has opposed a Statehouse measure that would prevent other towns from passing identical laws.

The Humane Society of the United States is one of the animal rights organizations that opposes the law.

“These stores don’t need to sell dogs to be successful,” said Samantha Chapman, Indiana state director. “There are plenty of adoptable puppies at shelters and rescues and there are stores across the country, even here in Indiana, that don’t sell dogs.”

Existing ordinances could continue to be followed under Senate Bill 134. Yet, cities would be unable to produce brand-new ones. One city that is interested in doing so is Indianapolis.

Petland, an Ohio-based chain of pet stores, is advocating for the Statehouse bill.

The business declined our requests for an interview but testified with numerous witnesses at a committee meeting last month.

“Activists promote and push retail pet sale bans to eliminate mills,” Elizabeth Kunzelman, Petland’s vice president of legislative and public affairs, told lawmakers. “However it remains a fact that activists can’t point to a single puppy mill that was closed because of passage of a ban. Instead, pet store bans actually promote the use of underground pet trading.”

The Senate bill’s three writers all rebuffed our requests for interviews.

The bill’s sponsors in the House and other committee members who backed it declined to comment or remained silent.

The primary author of the legislation, State Senator Blake Doriot (R-Goshen), said in an email that it mandates pet shops to only buy dogs from breeders who are certified and registered with the state.

“Raising the quality of dogs sold in pet stores will reduce the number of puppy mills since there will be more well-bred dogs available for purchase,” Doriot said in an email.

Opponents contend that the state shouldn’t take away local control, including State Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis).

“Had the bill been only about setting standards, I would be very supportive of that legislation,” Qaddoura said. “The problem with the legislation, it mixed two ideas. It makes some standards, and then it included local preemption.”

With some Republicans joining Democrats in voting against the measure, the bill cleared the Senate 29 to 18 votes. It will now be considered by the Senate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *