A new law is changing the way puppies are bought and sold in Arizona.
The new state law, which took effect August 6, allows pet stores statewide to buy animals from breeders. This overturns some city ordinances in places like Phoenix and Tempe that forced stores to only use dogs from rescue groups.
Demonstrators gathered outside Arizona Mills mall Saturday morning with signs reading, “Don’t shop, adopt” and “Don’t buy while pound puppies die.” Protestors say the new law is bad for animal welfare and promotes the use of puppy mills.
But puppy stores in metro Phoenix say otherwise.
“It adds complete transparency to what we do,” said Linda Nofer with Puppies N’ Love and Animal Kingdom, two stores with locations in Phoenix and Tempe. The stores were forced to previously only use dogs from rescue organizations, and they said that the rule hurt local business.
According to Nofer, the bill creates a list of requirements that includes posting publicly where animals come from and the conditions in which they were living. “Anybody can do the research and see where our puppies are coming from,” Nofer said. The bill also uses a three strike policy that punishes stores that break the rules with fines up to $5,000.
Demonstrators that include the group Puppy Mill Free Arizona say they plan to hold more demonstrations next month. They believe the new law hurts shelter dogs. Nofer argues that it protects pets, while not limiting local businesses. “You would think we would be against it because it makes it more difficult for us, but we are all for it, nobody likes puppy mills,” Nofer said.
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