Council Legislation

Proposed Ordinance No. 2022-10s

Title: An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Relating to Pet Shops; Regulating the Sale of Dogs and Cats; Amending Pierce County Code Section 5.24.030, "License Requirement"; Adopting New Sections 5.24.075, "Pet Shop Sale Limitations" and 5.24.078, "Dog Sale Violations"; Making Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date.

Status: Under Final Consideration

Sponsors: Councilmembers Jani Hitchen, Marty Campbell, Ryan Mello


Documents
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Public Comments

Name Date Comment
Kayla Go 2/7/22 12:49 PM Let’s help end the cruel suffering of animals being bred for profit. There are so many animals out there that need us.
Melissa Blake 2/7/22 1:06 PM Passing this ordinance would be a giant step forward to ending the puppy mill profit funnel that has been happening in our county for far too long. Your passing this ordinance would protect our citizens from the predatory practices of stores who sell unhealthy animals for exorbitant prices to an unsuspecting public.
Beth Witherow 2/7/22 1:09 PM RE: ORDINANCE NO. 2022-10 Hello Council members, My name is Beth Witherow. I am an animal advocate and a voting resident of Pierce County. Thank you for placing a humane pet store ordinance on the consent agenda. As your constituent, I am writing to you to ask that you vote 'yes' and move this ordinance to a public hearing. This ordinance would stop pet stores from partnering with CRUEL puppy mills and brokers in order to sell puppies and kittens to the unsuspecting public. This ordinance will also stop the puppy mill pipeline and would encourage our neighbors to adopt from shelters, rescues or seek out responsible breeders. As you know, Pierce County is home to Puppyland, who has imported over 3,600 puppies (leaving the parents in cages with horrific conditions for all of their lives) since opening in October 2018. With your help, we can make Washington a more humane state for the animals! We can do better! Thank you so much for your time today. Beth Witherow 21110 75th Street E Bonney Lake, WA 98391
Stephanie Baltazor 2/7/22 1:49 PM The cruelty and the inhumane treatment of dogs currently in puppy mills is not an exaggeration. The profit derived from this cruelty is heartbreaking. Passing legislation is a big step closer to the end of puppy mills. Dogs shouldn't be a commodity for big dollars but rather a life lived with love and respect and without a voice of their own, they suffer in these situations.
Ashly Dale 2/7/22 2:21 PM This ordinance is necessary to cut off the cruel puppy mill pipeline to our county. Not only will it show that Pierce County cares about animal welfare, it will protect my neighbors from getting locked into a high interest pet loan or stuck with expensive vet bills if they are sold a sick puppy.
Jeni Woock 2/7/22 2:39 PM Hello Council, I am writing you today in support of Proposed Ordinance No. 2022-10. We instituted a similar ordinance in Gig Harbor several years ago. It has been a positive ordinance and extremely supported by our citizens. Citizens came out to testify in person and wrote letters. The only people against our ordinance where those selling sick animals to unsuspecting families. Please save the animals and the heartbreak of families. Please support this ordinance. Thank you for your time. Respectively, Jeni Woock Gig Harbor City Council.
Katherine Rempe 2/7/22 3:14 PM Hello Council members, My name is Katherine Rempe and I am a resident of Pierce County. Thank you for placing a humane pet store ordinance on the consent agenda. As your constituent, I am writing to you to ask that you vote 'yes' and move this ordinance to a public hearing. This ordinance would stop pet stores from partnering with cruel puppy mills and brokers in order to sell puppies and kittens to the unsuspecting public. This ordinance will also stop the puppy mill pipeline and would encourage our neighbors to adopt from shelters, rescues or seek out responsible breeders. Beyond this animal welfare issue, you are helping to protect our neighbors from potentially buying sick dogs, unknowingly signing up for predatory leases and loans that reach up to 200% interest, and succumbing to zoonotic diseases like the antibiotic resistant strain of campylobacter, which has been linked to pet stores across the country. Thank you so much for your time today. katherine Rempe
Sara 2/7/22 3:41 PM Please vote yes! We need to put an end to puppy mills. There are too many animals suffering and dying. We need to be their voice. Thank you.
Samantha Sanabria 2/7/22 7:15 PM Please follow other cites and states that are banning these inhumane places of business. Most people in this County do not want to support businesses that support puppy mills. This is something most people will agree one and be happy if this passes.
Jill Roeder 2/7/22 9:01 PM It will be a good day when we can say that our county protects innocent animals from inhumane treatment at the hands of those who only care about profit, and protects innocent people from those same predatory practices.
Christine Giannini 2/7/22 10:04 PM As a Pierce County resident, I ask that you vote 'yes' and move this ordinance on to a public hearing. Thank you for putting restrictions that pet shops also cannot sell pets even if they are from rescues. Animal Legal Defense Fund is representing buyers against JAKS puppy mills and their brokers who funneled puppy mill dogs to pet shops in California by disguising them under fake rescues. The only way to stop these people is to ban all sales of pets in stores. Thank you for caring about all the animal hidden and suffering in this despicable business.
Cadie Swanson 2/8/22 11:11 AM Please put an end to supporting puppy mills.
Carlos P 2/10/22 12:27 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Brittnee Sylvester 2/10/22 12:29 PM I oppose this legislation. All puppies deserve a loving home, and I think people automatically assume “puppy mill” when that is not always the case. Some families want puppies, and dogs as a life long companion, but require special types of dogs due to allergens, etc. a lot of time you cannot get that at a shelter.
Terrie Okyere 2/10/22 1:17 PM I purchased a puppy from Puppy Land and she is wonderful. I have one rescue and she is unsocial. Rescues make alot if money for damaged dogs. Do not take away my choice to purchase a puppy. Stop bringing in dogs from foreign countries. Rescues are not well socialized and dangerous. I also purchased a basset hound for $450 from a rescue he was sick and aggressive. Do not take away people's rights.
Jennifer carez 2/10/22 1:39 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County.
Sarah 2/10/22 1:45 PM This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Savannah 2/10/22 1:49 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Emma Bailey 2/10/22 2:56 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance! This will hurt small businesses and the economy in Pierce county. I want to have the right to purchase a puppy if I want to! I have a puppy from Puppyland and he is wonderful! The owners and staff are very caring and helpful as well.
Alayna Sample 2/10/22 3:01 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
justine 2/10/22 4:14 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Jessica 2/10/22 4:15 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Michelle S. 2/10/22 6:05 PM Your constituents should have the right to purchase an animal from a store that has done their due diligence in making sure puppies are not from puppy mills, that are provided with healthy backgrounds and to walk into a store without being harassed about a personal choice. No to forcing people to choose to purchase off Facebook, the Walmart parking lot or from a breeder that doesn't check their dogs for disease or abnormalities. If someone doesn’t want a rescue, they will find a way to purchase one that isn’t. This is what pushes people to unscrupulous sellers and they end up hurt in the long run. Please say NO to the ordinance and NO to taking away a right to chose where I get a furry family member from.
Alex Brimer 2/10/22 6:26 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County.
Abby Binns 2/10/22 6:26 PM "Please do NOT support this ordiance. It hurts small businesses, animals, and residents in pierce county.
Reese Lyne 2/10/22 6:29 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals, and residents in Pierce County.
Connor Chada 2/10/22 6:31 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County.
Ricky Reigle 2/10/22 6:33 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance It hurts small businesses, animals, and residents living in pierce county.
Monika Morrison 2/10/22 6:34 PM Place do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small business, animals, and residents in Pierce County.
Kayleen B. 2/10/22 6:36 PM Please DO NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County
Katelyn Palmer 2/10/22 7:29 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small business, animals and residents in Pierce County.
Lisa D Palmer 2/10/22 7:30 PM This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.
Paula Grieb 2/10/22 7:33 PM Help stop the misery of people treating animals like they do not have a soul. Stop the breeding of dogs and cats for profit. They are members of our family.
Chris P 2/10/22 7:46 PM Your constituents should have the right to purchase an animal from a store that has done their due diligence in making sure puppies are not from puppy mills, that are provided with healthy backgrounds and to walk into a store without being harassed about a personal choice. Not forcing people to choose to purchase off Facebook, the Walmart parking lot or from a breeder that doesn't check their dogs for disease or abnormalities. If someone doesn’t want a rescue, they will find a way to purchase one that isn’t. This is what pushes people to unscrupulous sellers and they end up hurt in the long run. Please say NO to the ordinance and NO to taking away a right to chose where I get a furry family member from!
Carol 2/10/22 8:02 PM Please support this ordinance! Help put an end to puppy mills. Plenty of healthy dogs and puppies will always be available through shelters and breeders. No need for the middle man who supports puppy mills and inhumane breeding practices.
Alyssa 2/10/22 8:25 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.
Marcia Caretti 2/10/22 11:29 PM Good day. I would like to express my support for the ordinance #2022, restricting the sale of puppies from puppy mills. The cruelty that the parents of these puppies is horrible and totally unnecessary. Please, please pass this bill to make it illegal in Pierce County. Thank you for your time and effort in this matter.
Donny Miller 2/11/22 7:33 AM And we should not be trying to pass new bills unless it is about the welfare of the animal and not about to sale. Too many people worry about trying to take down the business. How about trying to concentrate on the welfare of the animal so it has a happy healthy life from the start.
Shawnee Snyder 2/11/22 8:40 AM Thank you for putting the wellbeing of animals on your list! While this is an incredibly difficult battle to fight, it will take action at all levels to make a difference. It's time to be a voice for the voiceless!
J. Wesley Fisher 2/11/22 8:55 AM On behalf of the responsible pet care community, we ask that you not pass a ban on the sale of pets by pet stores. Such a ban, which prevents stores from selling dogs or cats or sometimes mandates that pet stores must source dogs and cats from rescue organizations, creates an infeasible business model that has proven to close pet stores. The Washington State Legislature already addressed this topic during the 2021 session through a statewide ban (HB 1424) that explicitly allowed existing stores to continue operation.
Sandra Kittelson 2/11/22 9:49 AM Please vote yes! We need to end the abuse of animals constantly being bred for profit and producing unhealthy animals. No animal deserves a life of being a breeding machine and living in a cage!
L. Murphy 2/11/22 10:22 AM Puppy mills without question contribute to the number of dogs (390,000) that are put down in U.S. shelters every year. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the statistics. The people opposed of passing this bill argue that it will shut down small business’s but we HAVE to take into consideration the greater good. Some of these people might have to find real jobs instead of sitting at home and repeatedly breeding their animals in order to make a living. This world is overpopulated with dogs and having a mill that continuously breeds their dogs each year is just making the issue worse. Please, let’s pass this bill in order to help focus on getting more shelter dogs homes.
Kelly segars 2/11/22 12:19 PM Please stop the sale of animals in pet stores! Hundreds of thousands of strays are euthanized every year, while people buy puppies from puppy mills. These dogs are used for breeding and discarded when they can no longer produce. We must do better!
Cathleen Powell 2/11/22 12:40 PM I'm in Renton where a similar Ordinance is under consideration. Having a dog that was rescued from a puppymill as an adult, I can attest that the squalor and conditions in which they are kept are horrific. No heat, low-quality food, no vet care, no name--just a number, no pleasant human interaction and those that are lucky enough to be "freed" and not killed when no longer useful are basically feral dogs. It takes a long time to assist these survivors in becoming family pets. Puppy mills and retail pet stores exist to make a PROFIT off of animals that have no choice, or voice, in the matter. We must be their voice and not allow these types of businesses in our state. Olympia, Lacey/Tumwater, Kitsap County have all said NO, not in my backyard. Now it is time for Pierce County and Renton to go Humane!
Denisse 2/11/22 1:33 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County is unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.
Donna Hall 2/11/22 2:41 PM Over reach of government. Private bussiness that is regulated should not be closed because of opposing view. You have the ability to shop there or not. Time to stand for everyones rights.
Margaret Knight 2/11/22 3:23 PM I support ending puppy mills. There are too many animals that need a good home. We don’t need to continue to support cruelty to the dogs forced to continue to produce a commodity for financial gain.
Elizabeth A. Rogers 2/11/22 4:57 PM Puppies should NEVER be regarded as property to be sold for profit. Inhumane treatment of dogs, including lack of proper care and feeding, are hallmarks of puppy mills, as are inflated prices for potential buyers with no assurance that they are purchasing healthy animals. The puppies that are sold at Puppyland are not reliably sourced. They should have no place in Western Washington--or anywhere, for that matter.
Lisa Leonard 2/11/22 5:49 PM IT is too difficult to find good, well kept, healthy breeders. As well as finding knowledgeable staff was refreshable enough that i bought one.
Erin Richins 2/12/22 8:15 AM We need to end cruelty to all animals and it starts here. The puppy mills are incredibly inhumane. Every time I see the man spinning the sign to have people go buy puppies it breaks my heart knowing there isn’t much I can do to help. I saw inside the windows of Puppyland the other day while they were closing and they have all of the puppies in these small containers/cages and who knows where they go at night. Most puppies bought will have diseases, deformities from the confined spaces they are kept in and inbreeding. There are so many strays that need homes. We don’t need more puppies. That’s not even mentioning how the mothers and fathers of these puppies are treated. They are more often than not abused and neglected. Please, pass this proposal and help put an end to puppy mills.
Jamie Jaramillo 2/12/22 11:52 AM Puppy mills are disgusting and extremely inhumane. They must be stopped.
David w Dunning 2/12/22 11:59 AM Most of these puppy mills will not even let inspection. I have rescued several puppy mill problem pups bred just for bottom dollar then the buyers give them up soon as they discover the problems due to inbreeding dirty environments etc. Then someone like me has to pay to keep these puppies from death. I would like to see no puppie sales through "specialty" stores. Some states have already banned them.
Anthony Quintero 2/13/22 7:10 PM I Am FULLY OPPOSED to this ordinance . An ordinance like this would Create More animals in need of rescue. If you truly cared about animals, you would too. When you take away a responsible business, who only deals with responsible breeders who are federally licensed and monitored by the U.S.D.A., you simply open the door for backyard breeders and true puppy mills. These backyard breeders aren’t regulated and don’t care who buys their puppies. When a consumer goes to Puppyland, not only do they have a variety of puppies to choose from, but they get help from a knowledgeable staff who makes sure the puppy they choose is the right fit. When people make a purchase of the specific breed that fits their family, they are more than likely NOT to turn that puppy into the humane society. Without Puppyland I would not have Oliver, my service dog. Oliver is a 3yr old German shepherd who is an integral part of my life and family. He is healthy and came from a healthy bloodline. During his training I made a friend who had a rescue. Unfortunately this dog was abused and Could Not be around other dogs or people. Do not take my, or other disabled veterans, ability to purchase a healthy puppy. Consider this! Instead of punishing a small business, that the market place obviously wants and has a need for, go after the backyard breeders and people who abuse animals and or send them to the humane society.
Marilyn Wilfong 2/13/22 7:41 PM We have to stop innocent baby animals from being viewed as heads of cabbage to be sold to anyone. And, the parents of these babies live in horrible conditions and made to reproduce until they are dead. Please vote for this ordinance
LARI CHAPMAN 2/13/22 7:45 PM Please DO NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County
Daniel Roso 2/13/22 7:51 PM Please DO NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County
Albert Sardinas 2/14/22 2:15 AM I strongly urge you to oppose this ordinance. 1. Pet sale bans do nothing to increase animal welfare. Currently, Pierce County has laws in place regulating breeders, groomers, and pet stores. These licensed businesses are subject to inspections by Pierce County Animal Control. Failure to meet those regulations can lead to fines and sanctions against those businesses. Pet sale bans encourage underground market operations which, despite being illegal, are harder to combat. When Pierce County residents want to purchase a kitten or puppy, they will have to turn to online vendors who the County has no jurisdiction over; or parking lot vendors who will, more often than not, disappear before local enforcement arrives. So unless the County also wants to outlaw the desire to bring home a kitten or puppy; it makes more sense to regulate the existing outlet which cannot operate in anonymity. 2. Pet sale bans do nothing to protect consumers. When your residents purchase their parking lot pet; what protections do they have to protect them from purchasing a potentially malnourished and unhealthy pet? The answer is none because they will likely never see that vendor again. If they purchased the pet from an online vendor, its possible they will have paid for something that will never arrive. Instead, the County currently has a retail outlet which offers automatic health guarantees with the sale of its puppies. Additionally, new owners are encouraged to immediately take their puppy to a veterinarian to confirm its health. Unethical breeders produce unhealthy puppies. Therefore, a store selling those unhealthy puppies would fail from having to uphold its own guarantees. Again, it makes more sense to regulate the existing outlet which cannot operate in anonymity. Additionally, the health standards and consumer protections expected of pet stores should be applied to rescues which, in WA, have had countless viral outbreaks and have restrictive obligations to new owners who may end up with a sick pet. 3. Pet sale bans have a disproportionate impact on BIPOC communities. The pet rescue industry has a well-documented history of racist practices. Lengthy adoption applications common in the industry are often used to screen out people who don’t fit into certain socioeconomic or racial categories. Worse yet, countless horror stories exist of those questions being unfairly applied to BIPOC families while white families bypass them. These inequities aren't simply quotes from the internet; they are my own family's lived experience. When our daughter was told to seek animal companionship to overcome certain trauma; she chose to volunteer at our local shelter. She spent months there making friends with staff and finding solace amongst the dogs. But those "friends" all became nay-sayers when she expressed a desire to adopt a Siberian Husky she had become especially attached to. Suddenly, our little girl that previously had "an affinity for animals" wasn't good enough to care for her own. Today we have our Husky; a well-mannered two year old male whom we purchased from a breeder in Eastern WA. We were blessed to have the resources available to bring Roman home, but not everyone is that lucky. What will Pierce County residents do if you limit their options to rescues and shelters that deem them as unfit because of structurally racist policies?
Lori Dale 2/14/22 11:17 AM I strongly urge the Pierce County Council to pass this ordinance. The pet industry and their paid supporters will use all tools to spin this and portray themselves as wholesome. Let’s remember, no one is under oath. The facts are the facts with data to back them up. It has been proven that Puppyland has imported thousands of puppy mill dogs into our state, from Jaks Puppies (you have been provided the details on Jaks involved with past and ongoing litigation). The pet industry uses words like “holding facility” to describe JAKS. In reality, it is a warehouse full of puppy mill dogs that are torn from their mothers as early as 6 weeks old. The moms and dads of these puppies will never see outside the cage they are housed in. They only live to breed and will die in horrible conditions in their cages. Is this the type of scenario and business model we want in Washington? They state they are a “small business”. They currently have 5 stores in four different states, does that define “small business”? This ordinance will not hurt businesses, they have a choice to change their business model to humane. This ordinance WILL NOT hurt residents. It will save them from the heartache of purchasing a dog that could have long term health problems from hereditary diseases. It will save them being trapped into predatory lending, leaving them financially burdened. Bottom line, this ordinance will protect animals and your residents.
Fabricio G 2/14/22 12:36 PM This personally effects the community because without Puppyland and their genetic health testing/vet checks there is no way the community will be purchasing healthy puppies.
Kriziely Breton 2/14/22 10:10 PM We’ve gotten a perfectly healthy pup from puppy land! She’s smart, loving and the owner of the store has an enormous heart and truly cares for the pups. If any pup needs rehoming she goes out of her way to find another home that’s more suitable. Even more so, she’s always maintained communication and checked up on her pups sold! They don’t just take these dogs and sell them. They also maintain long term relationships with the breeders they work with and follow up with families on the puppies they have sold to ensure everything is going well!
Justin pollard 2/14/22 10:20 PM Oppose
Ann Johnson 2/15/22 12:35 PM Please consider this ordinance as the only humane way to helping animals that are born in Puppy Mills and kept there to be bred until they cannot have puppies any longer. They are discarded then. There are so many dogs euthanized for lack of a home. These mills and puppy stores are torture to the lives of animals that never have a home other than a wire cage. Please help them.
Claire Wilkinson 2/15/22 4:57 PM Dear Council, Like residents of Enumclaw, I have a Puppyland store in my town of Renton. Both Puppyland locations sell puppies sourced from horrific puppy mills. Google puppy mill raids and you will see the heartbreaking conditions the breeding dogs are kept in - dogs covered with their own feces, painful matted fur, minimal to no veterinary care, no food or water. The pictures, stories, and facts will pierce your heart. The neglect and abuse are appalling. The Kerrs, who own both locations, truthfully claim they do not buy puppies from puppy mills. They buy from BROKERS who buy from puppy mills. Bailing Out Benji has the paper trail that supports this. The broker takes mass orders from stores like Puppyland like you would make up a list for the grocery store - 20 huskies, 30 pomeranians, 50 goodendoodles. These are not from reputable, caring breeders. These are from large-scale, commercial "factory farms" that crank out puppies as a commodity. In addition to the shocking and inhumane treatment of innocent animals, I would like to point out three things. 1. Puppyland charges incredibly high prices for puppies. In general, about 80% of puppies from reputable breeders will cost between $500 and $2500. At Pupplyand, the cost is MUCH higher and can run as high as $8,000!!! This is price-gouging. 2. Since most customers don't have that kind of cash, they opt into Puppyland financing. Preying on their customers' emotions, Puppyland locks buyers into loans with up to 99% interest. Ninety-nine percent! Bailing Out Benji can provide you with documentation to prove this. Financing puppies can account for more than 50% of the profit for a pet store. This is predatory lending. 3. A majority of the pro-Puppyland comments are from Puppyland's lobbyist and employees. They have a vested interest in seeing this cruel business model continue. Let me ask you this: if you knew that fancy designer purse or Rolex watch was made with child labor, would you still buy it? If you knew that the mother of that adorable puppy was suffering from abuse and neglect, would you still buy the puppy? There are more than a dozen shelters and rescues in Pierce County that offer a humane AND affordable alternative to puppy mill puppies. And you CAN find puppies at shelters and rescues! Pierce County has the opportunity to put a stop to the sale of puppies from freezing/roasting, filthy, urine and feces soaked cages (often stacked one atop the other like a warehouse) with injuries and illnesses never attended to. Please pass an ordinance that protects consumers from price-gouging, predatory lending, and the real possibility of buying a sick puppy. Thank you for hearing me out. Sincerely, Claire Wilkinson
Melissa Blake 2/15/22 9:20 PM I am a Pierce County resident and I support this ordinance
Jillian Neff 2/15/22 9:32 PM I am a Pierce County resident and I support this ordinance.
Diane 2/15/22 10:50 PM I support this ordinance.
Dawn K. 2/16/22 11:42 AM Oppose
Bob K. 2/16/22 11:43 AM I oppose this ordinance.
Sabrina Spooner 2/16/22 11:57 AM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Meaghan Cruz 2/16/22 12:06 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Sarah 2/16/22 12:24 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Brandon Lincoln 2/16/22 12:26 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
nate 2/16/22 12:34 PM Strongly Opposes
Khrystian Cavanaugh 2/16/22 12:35 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Maycee 2/16/22 12:37 PM Oppose
Kaitlyn Martin 2/16/22 12:42 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Camille 2/16/22 12:42 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County Would be unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. This ordinance doesn’t address the larger issue, the regulation should be placed on Puppymills, backyard breeders etc that are not following proper care and vet requirements for puppies. Many consumers would prefer to pay more and walk out with the puppy of their choice rather than get scammed online multiple times, because people prey on their emotions online too with cute pics of puppies they don’t have. It is a persons choice to use financing to purchase anything, if they don’t do it at a store they can be doing it with a credit card too.
Mishaela 2/16/22 12:46 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.
Lorena 2/16/22 12:48 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.
Monica L 2/16/22 1:04 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Matthew 2/16/22 1:04 PM Dear Council members ,I strongly oppose this legislation. Local business and citizens will suffer it this bill is passed, far too often the businesses in question are conglomerated and associated with unethical and malicious practices. This is unfair and completely untrue. Shock words like “puppy mills” are too often used with no proof of showing the breeders malpractices. Community members make allegations with out even asking the right questions to come to a conclusion about where puppies come from. Selective breeding can be done ethically and responsibly sustainable. To that point it cannot go unregulated and regarding the current regulations in place for breeding I’d say it’s a well monitored practice that requires stringent discipline and attention to rules. People who support this legislation are pointing their fingers at the wrong people. Legislation is already in place to regulate breeding procedures and living conditions. Adding more red tape will only hurt the people practicing ethically and responsible.
Devin T 2/16/22 1:07 PM I oppose this proposal
Jessica Berry 2/16/22 1:09 PM Oppose
Caris Carboo 2/16/22 1:11 PM I oppose
Isabella Kreutzer 2/16/22 1:36 PM As a person who has worked first hand with breeders and with rescues, I want to see a place were dogs can have a second chance. Too many people buy breed specific and have to get rid of them because it isn't what they thought it would be and some places you can't return your dog, or the preferred method of just dumping animals. I think we need a place that is willing to take in the animals that others don't want and give the animals a second chance.
MacKenzie Hensley 2/16/22 1:47 PM I am strongly encouraging the members of this council to support this ordinance, as someone who is working in the veterinary medical field unfortunately I have ran into many cases of neglect and sick puppies who have been sold through one of these retailers. I encourage anyone who is on the fence about this ordinance to please go on google and really look into these organizations and form your own opinion based on the information given from both parties. Thank you so much, have a wonderful day!
Melinda Cruz-Hernandez 2/16/22 2:43 PM Please do not support this ordinance
Severino Hernandez 2/16/22 2:43 PM Please do not support this ordinance
Aubrey Hedges 2/16/22 2:57 PM I am writing in opposition to Ordinance number 2022-10. This ordinance unfairly targets good and legitimate businesses. It could shut down my local dog groomer and doggy daycare, and it will put hundreds of people out of a job. This ordinance will hurt a society of dog and cat owners, that want the best for their animals, but choose to shop and utilize private businesses. I, like most people, 100% oppose animal cruelty. So, normally, I would not oppose a bill that combats animal cruelty. However, this bill does not combat anything, other than one business in Puyallup that the woke warriors just can’t get rid of. There is a culture of pet owners that prefer to adopt purebred dogs, and that does usually mean purchasing through a store or a breeder. And there is nothing wrong with that. As long as the conditions the animals are being raised in are safe and humane. Please, don’t pass a bill that regulates how many pets I can have, or where my dog can get her haircut. This hurts the consumer, and does nothing to stop the harm of animals. Thank you for your time.
Shani Brown 2/16/22 3:16 PM Council members, We are not in favor of the proposed ordinance on puppy sales presented by the Bailing out Benji group. This ban is disrespectful of people of color at best and outright racist at worst. This ban would further reduce an already narrow set of choices of where, when, and how much to pay to adopt a new family pet in WA state. People of color are already a disproportionately underserved community regarding just about everything in WA state, this ban would just make it worse. The individuals pushing this ban at Bailing out Benji maybe need to check their white privilege at the door. This group is run by a bunch of woke white women that are trying to speak for the rest of us. Apparently, they don’t think people of color have the financial means or are smart enough to make our own choices in life. What we don’t need is some white activist women peddling the soft bigotry of low expectations onto people of color. Trust me we got this, we can do things on our own. Lastly, before we continue to listen Bailing out Benji at all, maybe we need to shine a light on the real agenda here. Who’s paying the bills? Who are the donors to this group? How much are the officers being paid and by whom? I think the maybe we should contact the ACLU and others to look into the finances of this group before any decisions are made. There should be public disclosure of Bailing out Benji’s complete donor list as well as who gets paid what within their organization. I’d bet we all find out there’s more going on here than we’re being told. This ban is not only racist in nature, but it amounts to a power grab by this activist group and others to control the sale of animals by reducing choice and narrowing purchase options to rescue groups and humane societies that import thousands of animals annually from other countries. It’s basically a slave trade of dogs from all over the world and the people at the top of these groups are all getting pay day. Just Sayn.
Melissa O'Grady 2/16/22 3:55 PM Please do not support this ordinance..
Dulce Romo 2/16/22 4:23 PM Being a fairly new resident to Pierce County has brought a lot new to my eye. Buying a puppy from a shop is really the best way to go if you are trying to avoid the first steps of having your own dog. Saves you time and money to achieve the particular goal. Even better, to find a pure breed pup is hardly a choice.
Jessica otoole 2/16/22 4:30 PM Bought from puppy land due to buying from backyard breeder before & seeing issues. Puppy land got out dog from a reputable breeder & allowed us to find the dog of our dreams who was healthy & forever a part of our family.
Brianna Bailey 2/16/22 5:02 PM I want to start off by saying we acquired a dog whom was originally purchased from Puppyland in Puyallup. Upon reviewing his "pedigree" and doing some research, we found out he was given multiple different vaccines at less than a week old (vaccines that shouldn't be given this young). We found out through Puppy Mill Free Washington that he was transported in a small van from another state at 7 weeks old with 19 other puppies. To this day, he has severe trauma being in or around vehicles. As a puppy, one of his eyes was dilated while the other wasn't. Emergency vet said this could be due to a congenital disease. He has severe separation anxiety and also has stunted growth. He is an adult now and is not "full grown" size, he is smaller than he should be. We love him all the same, but I wonder just how much his mother suffered and is still suffering. We've gone into PuppyLand once and the animals just seemed sedated. Not to mention, the sales tactics the family whom we acquired our dog from spoke out about were predatory. Get your dogs from reputable breeders who don't vaccinate when they are LESS THAN A WEEK OLD, transport their puppies in a small van crammed with 19 other puppies at 7 WEEKS, and hide behind high prices. FYI, he would have cost the family $7500 at the end of their lease. BAN PET STORES!
Abraham Paredes 2/16/22 5:28 PM I fully support this ordinance, because we have done research on the background of a dog we have obtained from Puppyland in Puyallup and he was even on the news 3 years ago supporting the original ordinance that was being heard. Predatory marketing schemes, deplorable conditions of where the puppies are coming from (JAKS was sued for impersonating a non-profit rescue)... those just hit the tip of the issue here. Not only is it horrible for the parent dogs and resulting puppies, but it is also horrible for the consumer. This puppy would have cost the owners $7,000+, and while we love him so much, he has issues that unfortunately would not have resulted had he been properly bred and not transported to this state traumatically.
Sean C. 2/16/22 5:31 PM I oppose this ordinance.
Dawn L. Coffinberry 2/16/22 6:31 PM Over 3 years ago I was looking for a puppy (small bread) to be my service animal. I could not find a puppy anywhere and then I saw a picture of this cute little puppy from Puppyland. I called the store and asked them about the puppy. They helped me with getting the credit I needed to buy her and then I drove to the store and picked her up. She was potty trained to puppy pads already and at only 11 weeks she knew how to play fetch. She is a Morkie, half maltese and half yorkshire. I named her Tiny orea but she would not have it and when I would say her name she would just look the other way. Then after she chewed on my hand and I said chewy she got really excited, so I went with it. Her name is Chewy. She loves people and has no social anxiety. If it were not for this store I would not have Chewy. She goes every where with me and truly helps me. If this bill is passed others will not have a chance to experience what I have. Yes, I know I paid a lot for Chewy, because I did not have the best credit score but a couple months ago I finished my payments, which I have to add they made very low so I could afford them, but she is now all paid for and was worth every penny!! If anyone doubts what I say about Chewy you are welcome to come meet her yourself and see what she is like. She was not from an abusive puppy mill. I know when I read the negative stuff about the store, I drove down to the store to talk to them about it and the owners let me in the store even though they were closed. Chewy ran to each display box to say hello to the other puppies. She had no problem with going back to the store. And like one customer pointed out that the owners go and visit the breeders to make sure they treat their dogs good. Yes, abusive puppy mills need to end but stores like puppyland and good breeders need to not be punished. For the rest of my life and even Chewy's life I will be thankful for the owners of puppyland!
Kayla Kerr 2/16/22 7:14 PM This ordinance directly attacks Puppyland, the ONLY puppy store in Pierce County. Pet stores are often demonized and lumped into being bad actors by non profit agencies and rescues. They seek to monopolize the industry so they can import puppies themselves and turn a profit. Without pet stores they have little to no competition, so they use emotional propaganda and spin webs of incorrect information to sway politicians towards their opinion. Pet stores need to be heard and start showing that we provide a necessity to the public! If consumers cannot find their pets in a reputable pet store then craigslist, online scams, and meeting strange people in a parking lot to get puppy are very real scenarios that will be taking place in your county. Your residents will not be protected by these predators! Many cities that have previously passed ordinances like this quickly regretted their decision for this very same reason. Puppyland provides a safe space for customers to purchase a healthy happy puppy. We provide health guarantees, health certificates, and breeder info to customers. We visit our breeders frequently and even provide videos in-store of them. We require them to go above and beyond what is required of them at a USDA level. Please vote NO to this ordinance.
Dawn Wagner 2/16/22 7:24 PM Please vote yes to end puppy mills.
Rhonda Hargraves 2/16/22 8:17 PM Vote yes to end the cruelty of puppy mills!
Leslie Hargraves 2/16/22 8:30 PM I support.
Jennifer L Dunn 2/16/22 9:15 PM All pets deserve a loving and safe environment at all times. Adopting should be the only way to purchase a family pet or directly from a licensed /regulated breeder.
Chris Haakenstad 2/16/22 11:58 PM I Support this!!!
Stacy Estes 2/17/22 8:50 AM Please support the stoppage of puppy mills. They are cruel and inhuman. The animal shelters should be the only place to obtain an animal unless through certified breeders. We also need a bill mandating that all cats and dogs be spayed and neutered to stop the over abundance of unwanted pets.
Jennifer Hayden 2/17/22 6:31 PM Please support this ordinance. We purchased an English Bulldog (Spike) on April 12, 2019 from Puppyland in Puyallup. He was okay for the first year and then grew very ill with bladder stones. We switched his food to a prescription food, which did not work. Eventually we resorted to a urethrostomy, which re-routes the urine out a created hole where his testicles were before neutering. This worked for exactly one year and then even with prescription food and the new opening, he ended up plugged with more stones. We paid for bladder surgery to remove the stones again. He ended up with a resistant UTI, and in the end, after much pain and suffering and failed attempts to cure him, we made the devastating decision to put him down. That was on November 20, 2021. He didn't even make it to his third birthday. During the time we had him, we spent nearly $20,000 trying to keep him alive and comfortable. He had problems almost all the time. Besides his bladder, he had eyelid problems (ectropion), interdigital cysts, anal gland problems, joint issues, stomach problems and skin issues. He was the sweetest, kindest boy, even during all his suffering and pain. We are truly broken still, even after three months. I have traced Spike back to a breeder in Lancaster, WI, who was caught with 32 adult bulldogs on his property. I am angry and so full of sorrow at the fact that people are breeding these dogs with zero concern about the fact that their bloodlines are unhealthy, and selling them to pet stores like Puppyland, who apparently don't care about the potential health problems of these puppy mill dogs. A lot of them are taken from their mothers early, sent off unvaccinated and trucked across the country to pet stores like Puppyland, who are selling them to people at outrageous prices. It's sickening. We are determined that Spike's memory will remain alive with this cause.
Sherrie A Cook-Yeaw 2/18/22 6:23 AM As a person who volunteers and fosters for a rescue, it is difficult to see these designer dogs being sold to unsuspecting users just to end up in shelters or surrender when they can't take care of issues. If the pet stores are to sell dogs and cats then they should sell the ones in the shelters. The breeds that are being mixed to sell come with a plethora of health problems that ends up being a shelter problem or a rescue problem.
William J Podawiltz 2/18/22 8:49 AM Ethical and humane pet stores have given us the chance to add a very loving and loved animal to our family. I oppose this proposal brought by the few towards the many!
Trina Pittman 2/18/22 9:51 AM Three million animals are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year, while about two million puppies are produced by puppy mills annually. Puppy mills are located all across the country, including our own state. Puppies are bred here or are shipped into our state to supply the pet stores with puppies to sell. Responsible breeders exist and they DO NOT send their puppies to pet stores to be sold. Pet store puppies ARE puppy mill puppies. No reputable breeder would use a puppy store for their dogs. If puppy mills didn’t exist, there would be 75% fewer dogs in our shelters across the country. THAT is the impact puppy mills have on the overpopulation crisis!The entire puppy mill industry is an atrocity that has gone on long enough. Animals, at the very least, should be respected and cared for in a compassionate way. While hundreds of jurisdictions nationwide have passed laws and increased regulations to reform this puppy mill industry and to advocate for animal welfare, we need improved laws in our state NOW to stop this horror.Let us be the kind of state who leads the efforts of animal welfare in our country and makes the changes necessary to properly care for our canine companions! This is not an attempt Stress that this is not an attempt to stop breeding or regulate small, responsible breeders but rather larger operations that breed many dogs in poor conditions. “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” Be a voice for the voiceless.
Alexis Blake 2/18/22 10:51 AM Please please please do the right thing and help end animal cruelty. If this is passed it'll not only help the animals but it will help save the Government money by increasing the shelter adoptions!
Thomas Dale 2/18/22 12:13 PM Thank you, Pierce County Council, for your time on this important ordinance. I fully support this ordinance, as do the majority of Pierce County residents. This is not an attack on one business. This ordinance is out of concern for Pierce County residents and works to improve animal welfare. There are several pet stores in Pierce County who have a successful, humane, profitable business model, Petsmart, Petco, Mud Bay, etc. What these successful businesses DO NOT do, is import puppy mill dogs. Pet Stores who only sell puppies have a choice to change their business model to a humane model. Pierce County does not need a store who only sells puppies from commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy mills. With puppy mill dogs there is a proven increase in risk of hereditary diseases, several which will end the dog’s life extremely early or cost the family of said pet, thousands in vet bills. This ordinance will not take away residents’ opportunity for a pet. There are several local rescues, shelters, and breed specific rescues. If a resident wants a specific breed, and must have a “purebred” there are several reputable breeders. Reputable breeders, both locally and nationally, DO NOT sell to pet stores. The world as a whole is evolving, and I applaud Pierce County for taking this important issue on. There are several states, municipalities, both nationally and locally who want animal welfare to be prominent. There is not one animal ordinance that any state or city regrets passing. They listen to their constituents and pass ordinances to protect their citizens and the animals. The data has been provided to prove where these animals are being sourced from. Please vote yes on this ordinance.
Richard Hall 2/18/22 12:30 PM Puppyland and its owners and store operators threaten, via the sales contract, the free speech rights of customers. They do this by threatening to revoke warranties, recall warranty payouts, and take other legal measures if a customer speaks out with any negative comment on social media or otherwise. This is a blatant violation of the Federal Consumer Review Fairness Act, and this violation, committed hundreds or thousands of times via boilerplate sales agreements, is enforced by the FTC and the Washington Attorney General's Office. They're on to you Puppyland--owners, and employees who are executing illegal contract provisions.
yozelli leon lozada 2/18/22 2:00 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Joshua Shurtleff 2/18/22 2:01 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Amy 2/18/22 2:04 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
martha v 2/18/22 3:08 PM “Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.”
Bianca Walton 2/18/22 5:13 PM I oppose this proposal
Miquette Grant 2/18/22 7:42 PM Please do NOT support this ordinance. It hurts small businesses, animals and residents in Pierce County. This proposed ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect consumers or animals in Pierce County. It will only encourage unregulated breeders and scam artists in our community to take advantage of the void we will leave if this ordinance passes. Craigslist, Facebook and other online retailers will thrive. But consumers will have no where to turn when they have an issue, and Pierce County I’d unable to regulate these sources. Please, do not support this proposed ordinance. It will only put Pierce County consumers at risk.
Angela Sisney 2/19/22 8:12 AM Please pass this ordinance limiting pet stores from selling puppies/kittens as drafted. I was a dog breeder and am involved in rescue and am knowledgeable on the topic. Pet stores sell animals from cruel puppy mills not responsible breeders. Over 300 other cities and jurisdictions have passed similar ordinances. They are effective and have withstood legal challenge. I will submit detailed comments directly to Council.
Mel Perry 2/19/22 2:24 PM Please support this so we can put an end to one of the most common vehicles puppymills use to peddle their unhealthy puppies which have been raised in deplorable conditions. Pet stores allow the mills to stay in the shadows so that buyers are unable to learn WHERE their precious pet came from.
Cay morrison 2/20/22 1:17 PM Puppyland gives their puppies lots of love and professional medial care
Kathryn Benson 2/20/22 1:17 PM As a long time resident and voter in Pierce County, I would love to see us join the 200+ cities and counties nationwide that have Humane Pet Sales Laws. We are not asking Pet stores to close but rather to cease selling puppies from breeding mills which would shrink the market for inhumane pets to be sold. Pet stores can instead be an excellent resource to showcase the thousands of rescue animals that need adoption.
Job on 2/20/22 9:59 PM Puppy mills are cruel and abusive. Unwanted pets are being euthanized! Stop selling abused dogs and shut down the puppy mills! Offer shelter dogs and rescues for adoption! Simple! Win win! Many other places have done it. It is past time for everyone to do it! Thank you!
Patti Highland 2/21/22 8:44 AM This is a common sense proposal. Animals don't have a voice. It's incumbent upon us to be an advocate for their humane treatment in an all too often profit centered world. People in all socio-economic groups ought to be able to purchase well-cared for puppies at reasonable prices. Puppyland exploits not only the animals they broker through filthy and inhumane puppy mills. Puppyland also exploits people by charging outrageous prices for puppies. Prices most people cannot afford. To make matters worse, Puppyland provides financing at interest rates that violate usury laws. Puppyland exploitation is unacceptable. This is why I support an Ordinance regulating the sale of dogs and cats in Pierce County.
Shawn N 2/21/22 2:41 PM I oppose.
Brekan N 2/21/22 2:42 PM I oppose.
Ema N 2/21/22 2:43 PM I oppose.
Cashten N 2/21/22 2:44 PM I oppose.
Sherry N 2/21/22 2:47 PM I oppose.
Brett N 2/21/22 2:47 PM I oppose.
Katrina N 2/21/22 2:49 PM I oppose. We have two healthy puppies from Puppyland.
Justin Kerr - Puppyland 2/21/22 5:21 PM I would like you all to realize this ordinance will NOT help a single animal. I oppose this ordinance, because it puts Pierce County residents and animals in danger. If you have been told this ordinance will not cause Puppyland to shut down, you have been lied to! We are not just a pet store, we specialize in finding homes for puppies from great breeders. Puppyland cannot change it’s entire business model and succeed, and without puppies our store will be forced to close its doors permanently. If passed, this will result in 25+ lost jobs, hundreds of thousands of lost tax revenue for the county and a dangerous void left in our absence. These national animal welfare organizations that have contacted you to support this ordinance use broad and vague accusations to personally attack Puppyland, my wife and myself. At the end of the day, these are just that - accusations. Where is the proof that Puppyland specifically has done something wrong, illegal or immoral? We have been in Puyallup for over 3 years, and vague documents with misleading commentary prove absolutely nothing. Our customer always know the breeder their puppy came from, we have no reason to hide it. We allow customers as much time as they need to bond with the puppy and consider if this is a commitment they are ready to make. The pet industry may have given itself a bad name over the years, but that doesn’t mean that every single pet store is a problem. Just like any business, what really matters is who operates it. We’re people with a heart, not just a business. But, let’s look at the REAL issue in Pierce county. I strongly encourage you to dig deeper into local rescues and breeders before even considering this ordinance. Rescue’s often use predatory and emotional fundraising tactics to raise money so they can import dogs from California, Texas and Asia. This is because Washington itself does not have an excessive issue with homeless dogs in need, and rescues import dogs from other states and countries to Washington. They post a picture of a dog in a shelter, claim that if they do not raise enough money in time, that dog will be euthanized. Yes, these are sad situations and these animals do need help, but this type of fundraising tactic is predatory - regardless of the situation. So while that rescue dog can be priced at $500-$2000+, rescue’s often raise several thousand dollars prior to purchasing that dog from an out of state shelter for next to nothing. So is it really fair to say that rescues aren’t profiting when they can raise thousands of dollars, adopt a pregnant dog from an out of state shelter, then turn around and adopt that dog and its up to 10 puppies for sometimes over $1,000 each? Many Washington rescues are not here to help with Washington’s homeless pet issue, they’re here to bring the burden of California, Texas and Asia’s issues to our state, which only puts Washington at a greater risk. The other issue we should be addressing before we attempt to shut down Puppyland, the most regulated source of puppies in Pierce county is local breeders. I regularly see people setup outside Walmart, Costco, South Hill Mall, Target and other locations with a playpen full of puppies outside for sale. Check out Craigslist or Facebook, you’ll find countless dogs for sale, people are selling dogs out of their home, no license, no regulations, no standards of care, nothing. Just today I was driving down Meridian and saw a woman with a rusty and dirty crate off of 200th and Meridian with several heeler puppies outside in nearly freezing temperatures. Who’s going to help these animals, or the people who purchase them? On the health and care side of these animals, i’m curious, where will these future pet owners go to when their dog purchased from a parking lot, Facebook or craigslist has a health issue, isn’t what the seller claimed, or just need a little advice? Who answers for the issues that Washington has in local shelters and rescues, including Pierce County? There are countless documented cases of neglect, abuse, outbreaks of diseases like Parvo, distemper, kennel cough, mange, internal parasites and more. These issues often get out of hand due to the lack of attention, care and knowledge. Even with good intentions, with a rescue that has such a small amount of staff, it’s hard to accurately monitor your animals to ensure that they are all not just surviving, but thriving in their care. Rescues’s can be created with great intentions, but what happens when things get out of hand and it turns into a hoarding situation that create an even more dangerous environment than they were “rescued” from? At Puppyland, we have a license, lease, physical location, and an interest in helping our customers and puppies for a lifetime! We have nothing to run and hide from, we are always here to help. I’ve met several breeders in Pierce County since opening in 2018 who actively sought out Puppyland to buy their puppies and have practically begged me to take their puppies because they couldn’t find them homes. These breeders are nowhere near our standards, so we have no interest in supporting these backyard breeders. I’ve even met people who travel the country, buy dogs from USDA breeders, bring them back to Washington and sell them on Facebook, Craigslist, etc. I’m curious, who regulates that person? Who will hold them accountable to any issues they may have? Puppyland has about 25 employees in our Puyallup store. Puppyland employees consistently monitor every puppies food and water intake, health, cleanliness and sanitation of both the puppy and their enclosures. Puppyland also has a vet that comes in at least one time per week to check the health of the puppies. We have health guarantees and rehoming programs, so if customer’s do have a concern, we can help. We pay our taxes, comply to all current Washington and Pierce county laws, are regularly inspected and just honestly want to do a good job. At the end of the day, we all want to help animals in our own way. Some go about that by rescuing, but at Puppyland - we focus on supporting some of the best breeders. This ordinance is not the solution to any of your concerns. Please, check out the articles below. These are various articles of REAL and documented issues in Washington with local rescues. They include anything from rescue’s importing dogs into our state, hoarding situations, neglect in the rescue’s care, to selling sick dogs and leaving the new pet owner devastated. https://www.seattledogspot.com/distemper-killed-18-dogs-washington-rescues/ https://www.seattledogspot.com/main-street-mutt-rescue-dumps-woman-after-she-asks-questions/ https://www.seattledogspot.com/texas-dog-rescue-causes-distemper-outbreak-in-northwest/ https://www.seattledogspot.com/its-been-7-years-since-the-rescue-of-100-dogs-from-the-olympic-animal-sanctuary/ https://www.seattledogspot.com/desiderata-rescue-sent-sick-puppies-and-kittens-to-washington/ https://www.seattledogspot.com/adopt-a-pet-boots-furever-homes-rescue/ https://www.seattledogspot.com/scalawaggles-pet-rescue-sick-puppies/
Trent S. 2/21/22 11:58 PM Please vote NO to this ordinance. If there are no reputable places to get puppies like pet stores, where will one go to buy a puppy in our community? Realistically, we may go to backyard breeders who may know very little about breeding dogs or fall victim to online pet scams. Pet scams made up a large percentage of all the online shopping scams reported to the BBB and have only been on the rise for years, especially surging amid our pandemic. Washington State has also been reported to be one of the worst states already for puppy scams. I myself was once a victim of an online scam at a time, losing thousands of dollars for a puppy that was FAKE. Educating pet buyers and placing regulations in agreement on both sides of this ordinance is all it takes to meet in the middle, but not taking away the freedom of purchasing a puppy however we want to as a community. Pet stores being removed WILL NOT make our community safer, it will leave us more vulnerable thus more likely to fall victim to pet scams. Please, let’s see the bigger picture and remember our rights!
Lewis Powell 2/22/22 12:30 PM No reputable breeder sells their dogs to pet shops..period. There are many ways to obtain a dog without going to a pet shop that sources from inhumane breeders. People, do a little research! If you are interested in a certain breed, contact a local breed club, they all maintain a list of reputable/legacy breeders, go to dog shows, dog related activities such as Agility meets, meet people who have the breed you are interested in! You will be surprised. The cost of a well-bred, quality, healthy, properly socialized pup costs is much less than a retail pet store. Do some research…this is a family member for the next 12+ years. Going to a pet store and handing over thou$sds of dollars is quick and easy but only supports the breeders, millers, brokers and pet store owners who literally make a substantial income off the backs of pups left behind in squalor to continue breeding. This is a recent rescue by National Puppy Mill Dog Rescue. No reputable breeder has such a large of a variety of dogs, as they tend to specialize. These dogs are from a puppy mill, filthy, unkempt, terrified, unsocialized. It is the now up to the underfunded rescues to step up and rehabilitate these dogs into companion pets. https://fb.watch/bkHEFvLRuB/
Jill Servais 2/23/22 6:56 AM When you consider whether this store should continue to operate in Pierce County, I would suggest the council members do their own research and LEARN exactly where these puppies come from. When a pup crosses state lines, it must have a CVI accompanying it. This means, you can easily find out exactly where the dog originated. Puppyland, thru their dog broker, JAKS, has purchased from some of the worst puppy mills in the nation. Period. You don't even need to spend any energy ruminating on the predatory lending practices, NDA requirement, other unsavory aspects of this business- the simple sad truth that they buy from horrendous puppy mills should be evidence enough. We would welcome Puppyland in our community as a source of dog related products, day care, training, etc. Any assertion this type of business isn't profitable is a flat out falsehood. It may not give the owner the return on investment they have been enjoying, but it would stop supporting puppy mills and would start supporting animal owners who seek additional services for their pets.
Mary Dempsey 2/23/22 11:32 AM I can only think of one reason this motion would be opposed; that is support of small business. I support small and local business as well! But puppies sold at pet stores are an inferior product sold at top dollar. Pet stores that sell puppies hurt the community. These dogs, often from puppy mills suffer from a myriad of health problems and even same family breeding which causes these dogs to be put down or surrendered to a shelter for behavioral problems. Please make pet stores push rescue dogs by passing this ordinance.
Cortney Burns 2/23/22 6:49 PM There are about 70 million stray animals in the US. Of those 70 million, only 6 to 8 million of them enter the 3,500 shelters nationwide every year. My dog is a rescue out of Houston, TX where there are more than 1 million stray dogs! You could safely say we have a serious pet overpopulation problem. I speak from personal experience to the cruelty of the puppy mill industry. My first job, as a teenager, was at a pet store that sold puppies. We constantly received sick and filthy puppies from a mill in the Midwest. Profits are more important than the health of the puppies. I will never forget the sad eyes of puppies looking up at me, as they were placed in the back room to die without seeking veterinary care. Puppy mills are full of filth and disease and those puppies, with their parasites and infections, are shipped out to pet stores across the country where those diseases get spread. The mothers are bred repeatedly until they are abandoned or killed for no longer being capable of breeding. I owned a dog that came from a puppy mill and spent thousands of dollars throughout her life to treat her for numerous health issues resulting from poor breeding. Responsible and reputable breeders do NOT sell their puppies in stores. Considering how many dogs and cats there are in the shelters, I can guarantee people can find what they are looking for. If that fails, then there are absolutely responsible breeders to be sought out. Cities and entire STATES are beginning to ban the sales of puppies in pet stores. It’s time for Washington and Pierce county to join in. Let’s help to take control of this countrywide pet overpopulation problem that is only made worse by these mills and pet stores.
Sabrina N 2/23/22 6:53 PM My name is Sabrina and I have been employed with Puppyland for over two years. I personally oversee the day to day operations, work one on one with customers, work with our Puppyland family, as well as spend my time ensuring standards for our store are being met. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at Puppyland, it isn’t as simple as saying “it is a puppy store”. Puppyland is not just a store, we are a group of people that have grown as a family with one thing in common, compassion, love and dedication for what we do which just so happens to involve puppies. This is implemented in every aspect while building the Puppyland family, starting with the breeder all the way to the Puppy Counselor handing over a puppy parent’s new fur baby! Using trigger words like “puppy mill”, “animal cruelty” and “inhumane” is a manipulative tactic. My team and I don’t support unethical breeding and we are all extremely passionate about what we do. While the Kerr’s visit multiple breeders, continue education, attend OFA clinics, attend seminars and training, I oversee their stores and my coworkers care for each and every puppy that we have in our care. The Kerr’s travel multiple times per year, randomly inspecting their breeders, personally making certain not only the USDA standards are being met but that the “Kerr Standard” is being met as well. My team has first hand seen this through parent pictures, breeder videos, breeder bio’s, each puppy’s individual file and always being given the opportunity to ask any questions that they want. I feel it is important to know that I believe in what we do, our customer’s believe in what we do and so does our Puppyland family! Each team member we staff is hands on with puppies consistently every single day and I can guarantee we give them more care and attention than any adult that has a 9-5 job has the ability to offer! Creating an outright ban only condones backyard breeding and lack of regulation. It would create more than 20+ unemployment claims from my coworkers as well as leave families in an already hard time because of COVID out of work. My coworkers and I love what we do, we are passionate about what we do. Puppyland has created an opportunity for us to be hands on and put in our love, attention to detail and care into each one of our puppies prior to them finding their forever homes. While the puppies are in our care, we create a bond with each one and we continue that bond even after our puppies find their homes. On behalf of my team and I one of the best highlights in our position is getting puppy updates “pupdates” from families that continue to update us on their fur member! Additionally, consumers deserve the opportunity to purchase a healthy well bred puppy OR adopt from a rescue. They should have a CHOICE, not be forced to adopt, use facebook, craigslist or any other online scam that exists out there! If consumers really did not want Puppyland to exist, the company would have gone out of business due to consumers not purchasing! Clearly there is a need to be able to purchase well bred puppies from a reputable source and Puppyland fills that need. Overall, there are a lot of lies and misconceptions regarding who we are. Because of the harassment and bullying, we are forced to keep our potential customers information private and we keep our puppy parents information confidential to avoid them from being publicly harassed by the opposing side. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to harassing Puppyland customers. When asked to be transparent as a company we are, however, our number one priority is the safety and care of not only our puppies but our Puppyland family. I encourage you as a council member to put your name on this “public comments list” as “opposing" and watch how quickly you are stalked, harassed and messaged. The owners have received death threats, we have had employees quit over being harassed for saying they work for us and we’ve even had to support our customers that have been attacked online. Since when does Washington support online bullying or bullying at all? Please take the time to come in to the store and learn about our company and how we operate before listening to the lies and slander. I would like to express my strong opposition! Thank you for your time.
Jeanette Veith 2/23/22 7:45 PM I support ORdinance No. 2022-10
Brittany Morris 2/23/22 8:54 PM I’ve seen first hang the suffering these puppies go through. Most of the time vets end up euthanizing within 1-3 years. Please consider this proposal.
Mike Sample 2/24/22 10:01 AM I strongly oppose this initiative. As a responsible consumer and an avid dog lover it is in my best interest to have the option of where I choose to obtain my dog. Responsible sellers that perform such in-depth due diligence in the breeders they work with is exactly the option I deserve and the consideration that needs to happen to ensure the safety of the dogs being bred. I have 3 dogs from Puppyland and all are extremely healthy and happy. I would never have had the same experience going to a shelter. Working with Puppyland afforded me comprehensive health records for all my dogs that ensures I know exactly what I can expect for my dogs and how to best care for them. Freedom of choice is a guaranteed right and to control my option of how I choose to resposibly acquire my pets undeniably infringes on that right.
Karen 2/24/22 10:18 AM Please help end this horrible cruelty of puppy mills and the suffering of innocent animals !
cecile guilbault 2/24/22 10:32 AM I totally support this proposal. Please think about the poor parent dogs in the puppy mills. No medical care and live in horrible conditions. Bred to death then killed when they are no longer profitable.
Christine D. 2/24/22 10:48 AM Let's save these animals!
LeAnn J Weber 2/24/22 1:32 PM On behalf of all the animals that cannot speak for themselves, puppy mills practice inhumane treatment of the breeding animals. They are rescued from the puppy mills with rotted teeth which sometimes has deteriorated their jaws, mammary gland tumors, hernias and countless other maladies which prove they have never seen a vet. They have matted fur which is very painful to them and proves they are never groomed. They are injured from the use of pressure washers to clean their cages - with the dogs in them. Puppy mills are governed by the USDA, however the standards are far from humane. It’s perfectly legal to keep dogs in cages that are only 6” longer than the dog. Conditions are sub-standard, poorly regulated, and there’s no transparency to the consumers about where the puppies come from. This ordinance would ensure consumer protection from this hidden industry and would not negatively impact responsible breeders who care for the health of their animals. Responsible breeders would never sell through pet stores. Please do the right thing and support this proposal.
Michelle Duerre 2/24/22 1:49 PM Please vote to end puppy mills in Pierce County.
Fabienne Mezei 2/24/22 2:35 PM I have been in animal rescue for years, and currently foster dogs for a local rescue. Breeding is simply not responsible when there are so many homeless dogs. Breeding and puppy mills adds to the problem, and puppy mills are all about profit - it's simply inhumane
Deborah Richardson 2/24/22 5:12 PM As a Pierce County Constituent, animal Advocate and concerned citizen, I ask you to vote YES on Proposed Ordinance 2022-10 to get it to a public vote. I have a South Korean Dog Meat Trade Survivor who was rescued from a S. Korean meat farm before be slaughtered. The cruel, deplorable conditions she lived in were no different than the puppy/kitten mills here in Washington & Pierce County. These animals are just products to be sold for profit with no regard to the pain & suffering inflicted on them their entire lives, their health or the continued over-breeding until they are no longer useful anymore! No animal should be bred to supply pet stores or other sellers, when there are thousands of animals waiting for adoption and just as many being euthanized. I urge you to VOTE YES!
Jill Roeder 2/24/22 5:41 PM Pet stores, like Puppyland, don’t really care about animals or people. They care about making money. They care about having an endless supply of babies, so they can sell them. The babies in places like Puppyland are taken from their parents before it’s even known who will purchase them. But the parents of these babies are the ones that suffer the most. Bailing out Benji is an organization that has done the work of pulling government health documents called CVIs and tracing them back to pet stores. I volunteered for a local rescue, and there is no end to the amount of dogs and cats that need homes. It is untrue that a person can’t find a pure breed without using a place like Puppyland, if that’s what they want. Beyond shelters and rescues, there are responsible breeders, who want you to meet the parents of the puppies, which does not happen at pet stores. Please support this ordinance.
Diane Marsh RN, BSN, CCRN 2/24/22 7:02 PM I support this proposal . Stop overpopulation and east access to irresponsable pet owners . Too many animals are abused , mistreated , or left to starve. We have a responsibility to try to protect those who cannot protect them selves- that includes animals, all animals
Noelle Dockstader 2/25/22 9:24 AM Please know Puppyland can choose to go humane and still thrive with that business model, just as other pet stores have and continue to do. Please accept this needed proposal for Pierce County and choose to support humane pet sales, and prevent predatory lending and cruel animal suffering.
J.D. 2/25/22 10:34 AM I write to you today in support of the Humane Pet Store Ordinance on your agenda. Passing a humane ordinance now would be extremely beneficial for the reasons listed below. 1) Reduce a public health risk. Puppy selling stores are a serious health and safety risk. Campylobacter, Brucellosis, and Parvo are just some of the diseases that affect commercially bred puppies. 2) Protect consumers from ending up with sick and behaviorally challenged puppies with genetic and hereditary ailments. Currently, Puppyland obtains its puppies from large, out-of-state puppy mills. Puppy mills are commercial dog breeding facilities that put profit over the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of the animals. 3) Encourage Pierce County residents to adopt their next pet from a local shelter, rescue, or reputable breeder. There are many responsible ways to obtain a furry family member. A huge advantage of passing a Humane Pet Store Ordinance now is only one business would be affected. That business can easily adapt and choose to go humane by selling pet supplies, which is a multi-billion dollar industry. Also, humane pet stores can offer adoption events, with rescue and shelter animals in desperate need of homes. 4) Minimize the demand for puppy mill puppies. Educating the public about the horrors of commercially bred puppies is a huge benefit for animals and residents. There are numerous municipalities in Washington where councilmembers successfully passed humane ordinances. Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Gig Harbor, Lacey, and Tumwater are a few of them. Olympia passed a similar ordinance despite having to close an inhumane pet store. 5) Protect consumers from financing schemes that many considered predatory. Washington inhumane pet stores offer financing through companies that have interest rates ranging from 27%-200%. These companies include: Easypay, Credova, and Lending USA. Thank you for your time to ensure Pierce County chooses to be a humane and compassionate county for animals and their people. I hope the council will adopt a Humane Pet Store Ordinance 2022-10.
Azalea A. 2/25/22 3:40 PM I think selling puppies, and dogs, in pet stores is bad because that would mean supporting breeders. Supporting breeders would mean supporting how they treat their animals. If you’re not there with the breeders, or don’t see the animals they sell, how do you know if those animals are being taken care of? They could be starving, sick, mentally hurt or physically hurt. If any of that happens to any dog, it can be vary hard for it to trust humans again. Sometimes breeders keep the dogs in VERY small cages. When breeders do any of that, it’s hard for the dog (because of that trauma) to be a good pet. So people often dump them or put them in the shelters and they usually die. That is why I think selling animals in a pet store is cruel. Sincerely, Azalea A. (11 years old)
Samantha Corcoran 2/26/22 8:53 AM Please end the cruel suffering of animals being bred for profit. There are so many stray animals that need loving homes already.
Carrol hardee 2/27/22 8:47 AM I do not support tax dollars being earned or paid by the selling and questionable breeding of animals. Factory breeding and selling of dogs and cats contributes to the burden of the taxpayers supporting animal shelters. Overpopulation is a real concern in these counties and the stores only contribute negatively to that endeavor.
Joel 2/27/22 6:31 PM I oppose this proposal
National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) 2/28/22 2:43 AM February 28, 2022 Letter in opposition to pet store ordinance Dear members of Pierce County Council: I am writing on behalf of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) and its associate, NAIA Trust, two broad-based national animal welfare organizations founded in 1991 and 2001, respectively. Together they work to enable society to understand and provide solutions to complex, emotional, and often controversial issues regarding animals. We have a diverse bi-partisan membership that includes pet owners, hobby dog breeders, rescuers, businesses, ranchers and animal professionals, scientists, and veterinarians. NAIA’s expertise in animal welfare and husbandry is recognized nationwide and we have members throughout the state of Washington. The pet store ban proposed in Pierce County will solve no problems. Instead, its passage would cause harmful and lasting effects. It would eliminate legitimate regulated commerce from the local economy and open the door to unregulated, fly-by-night operators that avoid regulation because they are labeled as rescues. Although there are many outstanding rescue organizations, several states have begun regulating them because they recognize that the black sheep operating under this banner are a leading source of animal welfare problems in the US today. ●Passing this ordinance would mandate that Pierce County exchange pet stores that are a regulated source ofpets for a supply of pets whose source is largely unregulated and often in need of medical treatment. Manyrescue dogs in Washington come with undiagnosed and/or untreated conditions, including heartworm. Bringingrescue and shelter dogs – typically adults – into the retail environment where some will pass on contagiousdiseases and/or parasites to other pets, is a near hopeless situation to deal with in the retail environment. ●If there is concern about the source of pet store dogs, the city can mandate the store’s sourcing of animalsbased on the USDA inspection reports of their breeders. This has been done in many jurisdictions. Thisinformation can be found here. ●The background of rescue dogs is often unknown, but government sources show that a fair number come fromforeign countries and carry contagious diseases. The epidemic of canine flu that occurred here and across thecountry was traced to rescue dogs imported from So. Korea. In other parts of the US, rescue dogs with lethaldiseases like rabies have been imported. ●Forcing pet stores to sell rescued dogs has never been successful. Pet stores are not designed as shelters, whichare set up to handle the inevitable disease outbreaks and parasite infections that occur in unowned pets.Forcing pet stores to sell rescued pets is a recipe for disaster. ●Passing this ordinance would create a retail monopoly for the nonprofit, tax-exempt sector and eliminate hardworking, tax-paying businesses. National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) 1017 SW Morrison, Suite 511 Portland OR 97205 naia@naiaonline.org 503-227-8450
Sally J Andrews 2/28/22 9:18 AM I am part of Puyallup Animal Rescue and we have been rehoming many unwanted dogs, cats, puppies and kittens since 1984. We provide spay/neuter services plus any other medical needs that these pets may have. Our adoption fees for lovely pets are a maximum of $350.00 whereas the Pet stores charge thousands per pet, many of which come from puppy mills and have dubious medical histories. I am not opposed to responsible breeders as it is important to maintain good blood lines and if someone wants a pure bred, well-bred dog there are responsible breeders to be found who are not puppy mills so regardless of what Pets Stores say there are all types of well-bred purebred dogs available from reputable breeders. There are still many unwanted dogs and puppies in this region looking for homes and many responsible rescue groups rehoming them so there is an abundant supply of lovely pets available to the public without having to go to overpriced Pet stores who are selling puppy mill dogs. Please vote yes on this very important piece of legislature. Thank you, Sally Andrews
Terisa Winters Steiber 2/28/22 11:25 AM Mr. Chairman and Members of this committee. My name is Terisa Winters Steiber and I would like to respectfully thank you for your time and consideration. I oppose Bill 2344. I own and operate Rockytopp Kennel in Lansing Iowa and we sell our puppies privately as well as utilize a brokerage to sell to pet stores. We run a family business and employ 1 full time employee as well as a few part time ones. I have been raising dogs for over 30 years at several different levels. I am currently USDA and Iowa State licensed and regulated. I am also IKAP certified. I have never had any critical violations and strive to operate above and beyond requirements. We have several on hand vet resources we use as the need arises and our attending vet is at our facility at least once a month and does a total hand on inspection of every dog in our facility a minimum of once a year. Our kennel is frequently toured by our local vet tech program, local representatives, sheriff departments, schools and special needs organizations. We have unannounced inspections by USDA and State inspectors. Our brokerage has toured our facility and I hers. I have had Breed registry representatives from AKC and APRI at our facility as well as pet store owners. I have had the privilege of touring several kennels in 8 states. I work hard at being educated in my job. In 2019 I had 43.5 hours of continuing education. I am on several local and state industry boards. I work hard to help educate the public and other breeders about my business and how to raise healthy, well socialized dogs. I have attended representative opportunities at my state level and at the US Capitol level to help educate them about what I do. My adults and puppies are vaccinated and dewormed as to the Protocol of Dr. Bob Page DVM. I have had all my dogs OFA tested. I strive to raise puppies above and beyond the requirements of my regulators and provide them to the public. My dogs have very large enclosures and can run daily. We work with them all daily on obedience and socialization. We visit several public facilities with our adult dogs and our puppies. We walk them on leashes and expose them to everything we can. We retire our breeding dogs at a young age and work to give them an occupation change in a new environment. If Bill 2344 passes it will lead to my family’s lifestyle having to change. We will have to lay off our employees who depend on their income with us. We will be forced to no longer do what we love and have strived so hard to do the right way. It will take the choice away from people where to purchase their puppies and force them to purchase something they have little or no background information on. It could cause a safety risk to them and others around the dogs they PURCHASE not adopt from rescues and shelters. They will have no genetic information on their dogs and have no idea of the dog’s health risks. I respectfully thank you for your time and consideration in not passing Bill 2344 and have provided written documentation to your committee. Terisa Winters Steiber
Paula Sardinas 2/28/22 11:56 AM I strongly urge you to oppose this ordinance. 1. Pet sale bans do nothing to increase animal welfare. Currently, Pierce County has laws in place regulating breeders, groomers, and pet stores. These licensed businesses are subject to inspections by Pierce County Animal Control. Failure to meet those regulations can lead to fines and sanctions against those businesses. Pet sale bans encourage underground market operations which, despite being illegal, are harder to combat. When Pierce County residents want to purchase a kitten or puppy, they will have to turn to online vendors who the County has no jurisdiction over; or parking lot vendors who will, more often than not, disappear before local enforcement arrives. So unless the County also wants to outlaw the desire to bring home a kitten or puppy; it makes more sense to regulate the existing outlet which cannot operate in anonymity. 2. Pet sale bans do nothing to protect consumers. When your residents purchase their parking lot pet; what protections do they have to protect them from purchasing a potentially malnourished and unhealthy pet? The answer is none because they will likely never see that vendor again. If they purchased the pet from an online vendor, its possible they will have paid for something that will never arrive. Instead, the County currently has a retail outlet which offers automatic health guarantees with the sale of its puppies. Additionally, new owners are encouraged to immediately take their puppy to a veterinarian to confirm its health. Unethical breeders produce unhealthy puppies. Therefore, a store selling those unhealthy puppies would fail from having to uphold its own guarantees. Again, it makes more sense to regulate the existing outlet which cannot operate in anonymity. Additionally, the health standards and consumer protections expected of pet stores should be applied to rescues which, in WA, have had countless viral outbreaks and have restrictive obligations to new owners who may end up with a sick pet. 3. Pet sale bans have a disproportionate impact on BIPOC communities. The pet rescue industry has a well-documented history of racist practices. Lengthy adoption applications common in the industry are often used to screen out people who don’t fit into certain socioeconomic or racial categories. Worse yet, countless horror stories exist of those questions being unfairly applied to BIPOC families while white families bypass them. These inequities aren't simply quotes from the internet; they are my own family's lived experience. When our daughter was told to seek animal companionship to overcome certain trauma; she chose to volunteer at our local shelter. She spent months there making friends with staff and finding solace amongst the dogs. But those "friends" all became nay-sayers when she expressed a desire to adopt a Siberian Husky she had become especially attached to. Suddenly, our little girl that previously had "an affinity for animals" wasn't good enough to care for her own. Today we have our Husky; a well-mannered two year old male whom we purchased from a breeder in Eastern WA. We were blessed to have the resources available to bring Roman home, but not everyone is that lucky. What will Pierce County residents do if you limit their options to rescues and shelters that deem them as unfit because of structurally racist policies?
Kirsten Gregory 2/28/22 12:30 PM I am a resident of unincorporated Pierce County. I am also an animal law attorney and the Director of Animal Cruelty Response and Prevention for Pasado’s Safe Haven, which has been a leader in fighting animal cruelty in Washington State for 25 years. I lead a team that investigates and provides resources and assistance to law enforcement and prosecutors in over 200 cases of animal cruelty and neglect across the state every year. Many of these cases involve unethical breeding facilities known as puppy mills. My team sees first-hand the deplorable conditions animals are subjected to for a lifetime in commercial breeding operations and the permanent physical and psychological damage that comes from living in these conditions even for a short time. Puppy-selling pet stores often advertise that their puppies come from USDA licensed breeding operations. While this sounds reassuring and even may be technically true, the reality is that a USDA license does nothing to ensure that the operation is humane. USDA regulations are shockingly and infamously inadequate, allowing dogs to be confined in stacked cages only 6 inches and longer and taller than their bodies for their entire lives, denied adequate exercise and socialization, and given no regular veterinary care beyond an annual walk-through. During the 2021 session, the Washington state legislature took a first step in addressing this issue by passing HB 1424, prohibiting any new puppy-selling pet stores from opening and ensuring that this problem would not get any worse in our state. But sadly, puppy mills are still being enabled every day in Washington. This is because HB 1424 allows a handful of pet stores, including here in Pierce County, to continue to be able to purchase animals from these inhumane breeding operations and sell them to an unsuspecting public. Local jurisdictions such as Kitsap County, Olympia, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Poulsbo, and Gig Harbor have already taken action to address this loophole by adopting policies similar to the ordinance you are considering today. An ordinance prohibiting the retail sales of dogs and cats in Pierce County would not impact the business of reputable breeders or limit consumer choice. But it would be important progress in stopping the harmful funnel of innocent animals being sold in pet stores from puppy mills. As a final matter, I would note that arguments about “predatory non-profit rescue organizations” just recently raised by pet store operators is clearly an effort to deflect from the role they play in funneling thousands of puppy mill puppies into Washington pet stores. This would be ironically humorous if this weren’t such a serious issue. It is critical to address this issue in Pierce County now, before more animals and consumers are hurt. I am attaching a link to a video we prepared in support of HB 1424 with additional important information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uWSA7nv9Ko Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Paula Buenrostro 2/28/22 1:21 PM Good afternoon, I want to clear the air about the Texas rescue question that was raised in this comment section. I am a member of Texas rescue here in San Antonio, Texas. Our local pound still euthanizes for space. 153 dogs were euthanized in January 2022 and a lucky 624 left with rescue partners. Without those rescue partners, our 89.9 "Live Release Rate" would be a much scarier number (https://www.sanantonio.gov/Portals/0/Files/AnimalCare/Asilomar/FY2022/acs%20asilomar%20jan%202022.pdf?ver=2022-02-11-110601-577). Many of those dogs went to God's Dogs Rescue, a wonderful local nonprofit that transports to Washington State. We are the second largest rescue in Bexar County, and often our rescue partners share a ride on our vans to Washington. I myself have fostered dogs who go to Washington State. Our demand for dogs is not high enough to provide homes for the dogs who are already here. Adoption, with transport for a puppy is $500 from San Antonio. For older dogs it is $400. When you adopt from God's Dogs Rescue, you help save Texas dogs, get more information about the dog, and get more support. You must have vet and personal references because we care where our dogs end up. Additionally, you will work with an adoption counselor and the pet's foster parent to ensure that it's a perfect fit for everybody. When you finally get your new family member, the pet is vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, and has been heartworm tested. You get updates during the transport process and our transport team cleans bedding and ensures feeding and watering on the journey. The only pets who share a kennel on a transport are litter mates if they were in the same foster home. (https://godsdogsrescue.org/adopt/adopt-available-dogs/#sl_embed&page=shelterluv_wrap_1611192883944%252Fembed%252Fanimal%252FGDR-A-6655) Our rescue also takes on some of the hardest cases, and we don't turn dogs down. We have thousands of dollars in outstanding vet bills in our local vet and emergency vet partners, Callaghan Road Animal Hospital and Animal Emergency Room. We thank our Washington adopters from the bottom of our hearts because they help make our work here in Texas possible. We currently lead the country in number of companion animals euthanized and out of state adopters are a critical piece of that puzzle. Your support for a humane ordinance would ensure that more Washington residents are inclined to help us in our life saving effort and set a precedence for similar ordinances in Texas. Unfortunately, we also are faced with Pet Stores bringing unaltered pets into our state and selling sick puppies for exorbitant prices to unsuspecting customers. Best, Paula Buenrostro
suzette powell 2/28/22 5:38 PM If i could i would vote yes on this. people should not use animals as their own cash cows, animals are not for profit!
Emily Elisei 3/1/22 7:21 PM I oppose. Places like Puppyland are unique and special and it’s how we found our precious fur baby. We wouldn’t have her in our lives if it wasn’t for Puppyland.
Irina Owen 3/1/22 11:11 PM I am undecided but only because I saw that “kennels” and “groomers” were also subject to this. If a place is just a kennel or a groomer or a doggie daycare, and does not sell animals, I don’t think they should be subject to this. And it was unclear what a license is and how a business would go about getting it. Would they apply online? Would someone physically check the store or whatever to make sure animals are in good conditions? I want more information.
Heidi 3/2/22 10:58 AM I SUPPORT this proposal for the following reasons: 1) Puppyland is a FOR PROFIT business. Puppyland is making an exorbitant amount of money by selling vulnerable and often times misrepresented animals. 2) Puppyland preys on both uninformed and misinformed consumers. 3) Puppyland supports puppy mills. For example JAKs in Britt, Iowa. You can look at their website which is full of terms and language intended to fool people into believing they are acting on behalf of and in support of humane breeding. 4) Our communities are inundated with homeless animals. Animals that are desperately in need of loving homes yet are sitting in shelters and eventually being euthanized. 5) Due to Covid pandemic people got pets when they were working remotely and when they had to return to their workplace they didn’t have “time” etc for the pets and took them to shelters. As a result there has been an exponential increase in animals in shelters. 6) As a director of a local rescue I experience, first hand, the absolutely tragic and horrific outcomes of dogs that come from PUPPYLAND. I am more than willing to share a recent experience if you are interested in hearing more. 7) Adopt, don’t shop. You will save lives of animals that have been abandoned, beaten, neglected and worse.
soleil 3/6/22 10:56 AM i oppose this proposal!
Kelsie 3/6/22 11:00 AM i oppose this proposal
Alexis Blue 3/9/22 1:09 AM I highly support this proposal, it absolutely breaks my heart just how many people support Pupplyland just because they bought their dog their, not even choosing to acknowledge the gross sale and puppymill production of their “products.” If you had an ounce of respect for non-sentient life, specifically dogs, you would support this proposal. Dogs are completely dependent on us and they deserve the best upbringing NOT from a puppy mill. thank you for your time and effort.
Lisa Turner 3/9/22 4:25 AM I support the proposal. Please catch us up with the modern world and STOP puppy mills.
Abigail Lewis 3/10/22 6:55 PM Please support this bill and help protect innocent animals. Puppies sold in pet stores always come from puppy mills, which treat their animals terribly. Let's show how compassionate Pierce County is and ban puppies sold in pet stores. Thank you.
Janine Carlson 3/10/22 9:41 PM Stop puppy mills and those who profit from them.
Amanda Appling 3/11/22 2:05 AM I support this proposal. Puppyland is operating on unethical grounds, charging people more than a CAR for puppies that most times are sick or not worth anywhere close to that amount of money or interest!
Melinda Ennis 3/15/22 10:28 AM This is nothing but a puppy mill. These pups are sick, they are not taken care of properly or fed regularly. They feed them cheap dog food full of fillers. They are abused, kicked, hit by the workers that work at the Puyallup location. This needs put out of business. This is just a money making scheme.
Sara B 3/15/22 12:54 PM I support this proposal.
Stephanie H. 3/28/22 11:46 AM No reputable breeders sell to pet stores! And no one should want to buy from a pet store. There are plenty of reputable breeders out there that follow up with the puppies even after they are sold. Why would you want to purchase a puppy without visiting the puppy's parents first to see first hand what their behavior is like? There is a big difference between purebred and well-bred. Not all purebred dogs are pristine examples of their breed.
Lindsey M. 4/5/22 3:48 PM This ordinance doesn't stop people from buying purebred dogs. It's ridiculous that people are actually trying to claim that this is an attack against purebred dogs. No, this is an attack against backyard breeders. This is an attack against breeders who only care about making a quick dollar. No one should be supporting backyard breeders. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS ORDINANCE! Supporting this ordinance stops backyard breeders from being able to exploit dogs for money.
Paula Sardinas 5/9/22 9:47 AM On behalf of Puppyland WA, we wish to testify live today instead of the ordinance as drafted, but in support of the amendment. We commend all stakeholders for their excellent work and agree that we should work together to find a solution that provides consumers with a choice for pet owners that aligns best with their family's values. We wholeheartedly support pet adoption. We also believe this choice may not be suitable or equitable for every family. In those instances, we help retail stores that operate above the USDA minimum standards in compliance with the additional regulations put forth by our amendment. We believe this is a win-win for all. We thank Chair Morrell, Council Member Hitchen, Councilmember Zeiger, Councilmember Campbell, and Council Member Mello for your willingness to listen and work with both sides. Warm regards, Paula Sardinas President & CEO FMS Global Strategies
Kirsten Gregory 5/9/22 11:40 AM I am a resident of unincorporated Pierce County, an animal law attorney, and Director of Animal Cruelty Response and Prevention for Pasado’s Safe Haven, an organizational leader in fighting animal cruelty across Washington State for 25 years. I have numerous serious concerns about Committee Amendment No 2 to Proposal 2022-10. 1. USDA-Licensing and compliance is grossly inadequate to safeguard the public or animals: The reality is that USDA regulations for dog breeding operations are shockingly and infamously inadequate and allow dogs and puppies to be kept in devastatingly inhumane puppy mill conditions for a lifetime (https://www.aspca.org/barred-from-love/puppy-mills-101/more-puppies-more-profits). Under USDA regulations: • Dogs can be confined in stacked cages only 6 inches longer and taller than their bodies for their entire lives, • Dogs can be kept on wire mesh flooring their entire lives, • Dogs can be denied adequate exercise and socialization their entire lives, and • Dogs can be denied regular veterinary care beyond an annual walk-through. I lead a team that investigates and provides resources and assistance to law enforcement and prosecutors in over 200 cases of animal cruelty and neglect across the state every year. My team sees first-hand the deplorable conditions dogs and cats are subjected to in USDA-licensed commercial breeding operations and the permanent medical and psychological damage that comes from living in these conditions. 2. Permitting the sale of 8-week-old puppies means weaning, cross-country transport, and holding happens at 6 and 7 Weeks. 3. Not requiring clearly posted price, age, and breeder information protects unethical sellers and breeders at the expense of unwary Pierce County families. 4. Requiring compliance with Washington State requirements = greater protection for animals and consumers without undue burden on ethical breeders and sellers. Committee Amendment No. 1 would not impact the business of ethical, humane sellers or limit consumer choice. Instead it would be important progress in stopping the harmful puppy mill pipeline (https://www.aspca.org/barred-from-love/puppy-mills-101/puppy-pipeline) bringing puppies into Pierce County to be sold to an unsuspecting public. That will not be the case under Committee Amendment No 2. We believe animals and the public deserve better. I urge you to take a moment to watch this video regarding the WA Humane Pet Sales bill for more information highlighting the serious drawbacks associated with Committee Amendment No. 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uWSA7nv9Ko Thank you for your considerable time and work on this important issue.
Jill Roeder 5/9/22 12:37 PM i support this ordinance, but only without the amendment. Thank-you for all the work you have done to try to make sellers of animals responsible for being transparent in their "supply". And make no mistake, that is what these animals are for the sellers. They are a merchandise that all purchasers should be fully aware of what they are "buying". The amendment however seems to take us backwards again and make things that much easier to take that responsibility away. Please scratch the amendment. Thank-you.
Cathleen Powell 5/9/22 3:17 PM I support the Ordinance but not the newly proposed Amendment. This new amendment "muddies the water" and does not support the much needed transparency regarding pricing and breeding history of the puppy. It is well known that No Reputable Breeder will sell their puppies to a Pet Store. The puppies in question are coming from a large Midwest Broker who buys from Puppy Mills. Consumers need to know before they go into the store to purchase a dog where the dog originated so that can researched. They also need to be aware of the cost. It is a consumer protection issue that folks are unaware of the price and must come in and "visit." It is only after they have their hands on the adorable puppies that they find out the pricing and financing terms. Often the family makes an impulsive purchase so as not to disappoint their children or companion. Often these dogs make their way into rescue within a year or two. I speak to that issue with personal knowledge as I have received quite a few keeshonds into rescue that had been purchased at Farmland in Kitsap County before their Retail Pet Sales Ordinance went into effect. Thank you for your careful consideration in this matter.
Laura and Emily Wilson 5/13/22 3:02 PM I reside in Chicagon but daughter lives in WA. She and I want states and counties to require licenses for available pets from insoected and certified breeders. Extended to pets available at fairs and other open venues plus online.I have volunteered in animal shelters for 20 years and seen a terrible surge in shelter population since pet store chains in malls and online. This provides the greed of breeders to over breed and use cheap inhumane care lacking in healthy control of litters and inbreeding. Breeders must have inspections.
Heidi Frankmoelle 5/13/22 3:03 PM Please support Ord. No. 2022-10s prohibiting pet stores in Pierce County from selling dogs and cats sourced from commercial breeding mills. This ordinance is necessary to cut off the cruel puppy mill pipeline to our county. These puppies an kittens are found in conditions that are not only inhumane but abhorrent! Their lives and well-being need to be protected and the perpetrators need to be stopped. Please vote to support this ordinance. Thank you for your consideration.
Jessica May 5/13/22 6:45 PM This ordinance is necessary to cut off the cruel puppy mill pipeline to our county.
Rick Shafer 5/13/22 6:54 PM This ordinance is necessary to cut off the cruel puppy mill pipeline to our county.
Doug Harkness 5/14/22 3:17 PM As an active volunteer and supporter of the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society, I want to express my utmost support for Proposed Ordinance No. 2022-10s. This is a necessary next step in animal welfare and humane treatment. I strongly encourage my city council members to vote YES at the May 17, 2022 Council Hearing.
Katrina Vicente 5/16/22 1:18 PM I wholeheartedly support the proposal of this ordinance. I am confident in saying, no truly reputable breeder uses pet stores to sell the puppies they have bred. Truly reputable breeders, breed for the genetic health and breed standard of their chosen breed. The majority of puppies I have seen first hand in pet stores such as Pet Land and more, are pawned off as “designer dog breeds” with no genetic testing and dangerous breed mixings. Another point is I have yet to see a puppy store sell puppies with a spay/neuter contract which is not only irresponsible as the layman should not be breeding, but also entirely irresponsible as our community’s local animal shelter already being full of unwanted dogs. I have supported pet stores in the past when I was ignorant and had received sick puppies with no support from the seller as they are only a middle man who lacks the knowledge of what pet parents should know about a puppy when they choose to shop. I now only buy puppies from reputable breeders whom I’ve extensively vetted as a canine professional or I choose to adopt from our local shelter, The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. I support adopt or shop, RESPONSIBLY. Pet stores DO NOT allow the average pet owner to responsibly shop for dogs! They do not offer any genetic testing, genetic information, lineage information, or general support of health and behavioral tips which only leads to more overpopulation of pets in our community. I support this ordinance and believe this ordinance will prevent further over population of dogs in our community. Thank you for your consideration.
Chloe DuBois 5/16/22 1:30 PM I want to express my enthusiastic support for Proposed Ordinance No. 2022-10s. As a Pierce County resident, I believe the ordinance is essential to cut off the cruel puppy mill pipeline to our community. Pet stores like Puppyland take advantage of our neighbors with high interest loans and selling them puppies that are unhealthy. I strongly encourage my city council members to vote YES at the May 17, 2022 Council Hearing.
Emilia Bell 5/16/22 3:11 PM This is very important. Animals need to be treated with care and things like puppy mills are frankly unethical. I hope this ordinance will pass.
Mieke Hoppin 5/16/22 3:22 PM Pierce County Council Members - approval of Ordinance 2022-10 is a small but might step toward ensuring the safety and wellbeing of dogs and citizens in Pierce County. I support Ordinance 2022-10.
Claire Wilkinson 5/16/22 4:13 PM Please pass the 2022-10s ordinance regulating sales of companion animals in Pierce County. Although this ordinance doesn't close all the loopholes, it is a step in the right direction. As an animal advocate and shelter volunteer, I am highly motivated by the suffering of the dogs forced to breed litter after litter in squalid conditions. This is a plague across the country. Of great concern right here in Pierce County is protecting consumers from price gouging and predatory lending. Prices are not listed online or in store. People are lured in and only find out how much the puppy is (average cost is $5,000!) after they fall in love with that adorable puppy. Then when the buyer doesn't happen to have the total amount right then and there, the store conveniently refers them to a financing company, which can charge up to 189% interest! In an interview with Jesse Jones, the pet store owner said financing was totally separate and that they had no say in who got approved or what the financing terms were. As Jesse pointed out, the store chooses which financing service is offered to duped buyers. Consumers do not have the option of shopping around to different lenders due to the high pressure sales that play on the buyers' desire to take the puppy home that day. This store is not in the business of selling puppies - it's in the the business of selling lucrative, predatory financing. Contracts have so much fine print that buyers don't understand what they are agreeing to. The contracts also include additional fees so the price goes even higher. Not to mention the restrictions on what the buyer can or cannot say about the store on social media. Some of the objections from the puppy mill pet store supporters are as follows: 1. It hurts small business The owners' store in Renton (where the City Council will be voting on an ordinance to protect consumers and prevent sourcing from puppy mills) did EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS in sales just on the puppies. I don't even know how to calculate their profit from financing. I don't know of a "small" business that does $8,000,000 in sales in one year. And I don't know of any "small" business that pays lobbyists $10,000 a month to intimidate and threaten legal action against municipalities that pass pro consumer, anti puppy mill legislation. 2. Pet stores are the only thing saving consumers from nefarious online sellers, Craigslist offerings, or backyard breeders. Those online sellers and breeders are doing just fine in terms of profit now. People have been and will be using these options regardless of pet stores. This begs a question: if the pet store is so concerned about backyard breeders and people selling puppies in parking lots, why is it not concerned about its own price-gouging and predatory lending? 3. Pet store owners don't buy from puppy mills. True, because they buy from brokers who buy from puppy mills. 4. Pet stores visit breeders and verify that they are not puppy mills. Okay, if one store sold more than 1,500 puppies last year, how many dozens of breeders provided the number and variety of those puppies? And the owner visited each and every one of them in person? With most puppy mills back in the Midwest, did they even visit any? Please protect innocent animals and please protest unsuspecting consumers. Thank you for your time.
Charlotte Gerlof 5/16/22 7:29 PM Enough is enough. This is not an issue of harming small businesses. Allowing businesses such as Puppyland to operate without transparency about where these hapless dogs come from is criminal. It is mindless and arrogant to operate knowing the cruelty, disregard and dishonesty connected with puppy mills. This ordinance will not stop the nefarious intent of hoodwinking unsuspecting customers but it is a step in the right direction. Having to identify the location where these dogs came from gives the public an opportunity to research where these puppies came from. I can say with confidence that these are not dogs from responsible loving homes made available for sale. The misery, suffering and irresponsibility is just plain unacceptable. I sincerely hope that the passing of this very preliminary ordinance will bring about education, and honesty in the form of what a puppy mill is. Informed consumers deserve to know what they are buying. And it is doubtful that anyone would want to buy a puppy that came with such a heavy burden.
Marianne Humes 5/16/22 8:15 PM Let's stop the cruelty and agony for our dear and beloved companions.
Kelsey R. 5/17/22 7:54 AM When I worked at an emergency vet clinic in Sumner, the utmost majority of the parvo cases we saw were recently purchased from Puppyland. I live in Puyallup, and the only thing I dislike about this town is that there is a puppy store. How on Earth is there still a functioning store that SELLS puppies! I now work in animal welfare and I understand that Puppyland upholds and passes it's inspections - good for them, but I am not sorry for them that I support this legislation. Those that work in this business can aim their efforts and their love for animals towards a cause that does not single handedly support the degradation of animal welfare. I happen to know of many shelters and rescues that are actively hiring.
Amy 5/18/22 8:17 AM The PNW is supposed to be a beautiful nature trove. Having puppy mills and animal abuse occurring within our county is a poor way to show our support for nature. Stop being cool with animal abuse.