PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Tempe puppy store wants lawmakers to shoot down a new bill they say will hurt their business. It would allow cities to decide how pet stores get animals, but an animal rescue group claims the bill will protect pets and animal lovers.

"Dogs are not widgets," said Michael Morefield with The Animal Welfare League. "They’re not a thing that sits on a shelf, an item to display."

"We’ve been doing business for 50 years, and we know how to do it, and we don’t believe the government should step in and tell us how to sell dogs," said Linda Nofer, director of marketing for Animal Kingdom Pet Stores.

HB 2329 offers protection for people who buy sick pets, but there's a little line in it causing disagreement.

In the past, some cities tried to ban pet stores from selling puppy mill dogs, but lawmakers took that decision away from cities in 2016, according to Morefield.

"The Arizona Legislature passed a bill banning cities from banning puppy mill stores," said Morefield.

The new bill has a line in it that would once again give cities the choice to make that call, meaning cities could stop pet stores from selling puppy mill pets.

"...Can give the power back to cities like Tempe to ban our ability to sell dogs from breeders and mandate we only sell the ones we obtain from shelters, which effectively destroys our business and business model," said Nofer.

We're not sure what the final version of the bill will look like because it hasn't been through committee yet.


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