The special meeting has been called to address the recent Grand Jury indictments handed down to the husband and wife team at the only puppy store left in Reno, Puppies Plus on Neil Rd. and S. Virginia, charging the duo with felonious animal abuse, practicing veterinary medicine without a license and withholding medical attention from animals including causing the death of a puppy.
Puppy Mill Free Reno has long called for the closing of such stores. In 2013, the Reno City Council passed a 6 month moratorium on issuing new puppy store licenses, but it expired with no action, frustrating council members and the public alike when staff informed the City they couldn't pass a ban on such stores due to the "Interlocal Agreement" of 2005 wherein Reno ceded all animal ordinances to the County. Puppy Mill Free Reno had hoped the now-common ban would have been placed in business licensing, but City of Reno and County staff pushed back with the City saying they can't do it and the County saying they don't have jurisdiction over businesses in the City of Reno.
Mounting public pressure in 2015, organized by Puppy Mill Free Reno, precipitated the closing of the puppy store in Meadowood Mall. The owner switched to a pet adoption store and eventually closed down completely.
Throughout the world, 351 such bans have been enacted including the entire country of England. In the US, 329 bans have passed including the entire states of California and Maryland. Five other states have the ban up for vote in the Fall or early next year: Arizona, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania and New York. North Las Vegas and Mesquite, Nevada, have also passed bans in the state, according to Puppy Mill Free Reno's sister site, Puppy Mill Free US, puppymillfree.us.
The issue of whether to keep these pet shop open or close them down will be debated by the Council members.
County staff have pushed a basket of new regulations they hope to regulate the stores with.
"Those regulations were proposed to us back in 2013-14 and they are only now coming online, 5-6 years later?" said Billy Howard, lead organizer for Puppy Mill Free Reno.
"Our 20,000 signatures amassed in the summer of 2013-14 clearly show the public doesn't want anymore regulations. We don't want another block of language stuffed into the municipal code. We don't want more loopholes for these Little Pet Shops of Horror to jump through. What the clear majority of the public wants is these stores closed down once-and-for-all and permanently."
"Reno has a duel identity of being rough and tough, a tumbledown city with an old west mentality. 'Nobody's going to tell us what to do.' Yet when I arrived on a flight from Las Vegas recently, the mayor greeted us on a video recording touting Reno as a progressive city. So which will it be when the Council votes? Save the pups and kittens like the entire progressive state of California has done, or "By God, nobody's going to tell us what to do! Puppy stores can remain, tortured, sick and dead puppies be damned!"
Recent Grand Jury indictments were handed down to the husband and wife team at the only puppy store left in Reno, Puppies Plus on Neil Rd. and S. Virginia.
The couple are accused of animal torture and negligence resulting in the death of a puppy in their care who did not receive proper veterinary care before his death. Indictments also accuse the pair of telling their employees to inject dogs with liquids and other medical treatments that require a veterinary license to perform which neither possess.
Puppy Mill Free Reno begs anyone who cares about this issue to come to the meeting, fill out a Public Comment form and stand up and speak out for those that do not have a voice. You may speak for as many as 3 minutes or simply just say, "I'm in favor of closing these stores permanently."
"The bigger the crowd, the bigger the celebration when we finally get what we've been asking for since 2013!" says Howard.
If community members are not able to attend the meeting, PuppyMillFreeReno.com will link to an online public comments form that will be submitted on the record at the meeting. The link will go up as soon as the agenda is posted.
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