Doing our most to close loopholes in the upcoming Reno ban

We’ve been in on meetings to develop the ordinance language for the Reno ban that City Council Members voted unanimously t0 not include a grandfathering clause. The entire council aims to end puppy and kitten sales in retail stores as soon as possible.

We’ve submitted to City Staff ordinances with very strong penalties per instance per day, ($2500) and strong definitions of rescues to spear the problem California is having with David Salinas.

Our immense local hardcopy signature petition of 20,000 stated on each and every page the retail sales of:

  • dogs
  • cats
  • rabbits
  • ferrets

We also now would include:

  • pot-bellied pigs
  • guinea pigs
  • long-lived birds
  • large reptiles
  • certain turtles
  • certain chicks

Royal Oak, MI: Ferrets

§ 195-36 Sale of dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets by retail pet stores prohibited. 

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for a retail pet store to sell or offer for sale a dog, cat, rabbit, or ferret. A retail pet store may provide space to an animal control shelter, as defined in MCLA § 287.331(f), or an animal rescue organization, as defined in this article, to offer to the public dogs, cats, rabbits, or ferrets, provided that the retail pet store shall not have any ownership interest in the animals offered and shall not receive any fee for providing space or for the adoption of any of the animals.

Royal Oak Municipal Code

Pot-Bellied Pigs from Mesquite and North Las Vegas bans

6.13.145 – Limitations on pet shop sales

A. No pet shop shall display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away, broker or otherwise transfer or dispose of a dog, cat, rabbit or potbellied pig, except for a dog, cat, rabbit or potbellied pig obtained from an animal shelter, nonprofit humane society or nonprofit animal rescue organization.

North Las Vegas Ordinance

Guinea Pigs from Key West Florida

Pet means a dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, or guinea pig.

Sec. 10-255. – Prohibitions.

(a) Sale or transfer of pets. No pet store shall display, sell, trade, deliver, barter, lease, rent, auction, give away, transfer, offer for sale or transfer, or otherwise dispose of pets on or after the effective date of this section unless the pet store is exempt under [section] 10-256.

Key West Municipal Code

Certain Chicks and Turtles from Sandy City and Midvale, Utah bans:

(e) Fowl:

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, barter or give away any fowl under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6). Such animals shall not be artificially dyed or colored. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to prohibit the raising of such fowl by a private individual for his personal use and consumption, provided that he shall maintain proper brooders and other facilities for the care and containment of such animals while they are in his possession.

Midvale Municipal Code

(g) Pet turtles:

It shall be unlawful for any petshop or other business or person to raise or sell any turtle, tortoise or terrapin under four(4) inches front to back carapace length

Sandy Municipal Code

Cambridge MA: arachnids, birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles

6.20.020 – Prohibition on Retail Sales.

A. A pet shop may offer for sale only those arachnids, birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:

1. An animal care facility, as defined in section 6.20.010 of this chapter; or
2. An animal rescue organization, as defined in section 6.20.010 of this chapter; or
3. An animal sold or displayed for agricultural uses; or
4. Dead animals sold or displayed as breeder animals.

Cambridge Municipal Code

AKC “Licensing” is a Sham. Everybody knows that, right?

Quite awhile ago now, NBC’s TODAY show presented a scathing exposé on ACK registration of puppies coming out of puppy mill pet stores, proving that the piece of paper a customer gets from a puppy store that shows the pup as AKC licensed is bought and paid for by the breeder. The huge revenue AKC gets from automatic licensing of any puppy in a puppy mill pays for their extravagant yearly dog show.

Despite the national terrible press for the AKC, nothing has changed.

A three-month investigation by The Canine Review found that the go-to authority on dogs is designating thousands of breeders as “Breeders of Merit” without any prerequisite onsite inspection, even as the AKC assures the public on its website that it considers them “the most conscientious and most committed breeders.”


The Canine Review has found that the world’s authority on dogs is making promises on its website about its quality controls that it cannot possibly be keeping. 

In AKC We Trust, The Canine Review
  • They can’t possibly keep up inspections with only a dozen or so inspectors for 11,000 registered breeders.
  • Any puppy miller can go online and get the license as long as they pay the proper fee.
  • Dupes who go to puppy stores because they didn’t do their homework so don’t know any better see AKC REGISTERED on a pup’s paperwork and believe that justifies the $2,000 (and up) price tag.

And that’s why ending puppy sales in retail stores is an animal welfare issue as well as a consumer fraud issue.

Is Sparks setting itself up to be a puppy store ban juggernaut?

SmithWe’ve written several time directly to Mayor Smith and City Manager Krutz asking for a meeting with Sparks residents in tow, including one who submitted papers to the DA for a bad situation she had with her Puppies Plus purchase.

Activists have even gone to a Council meeting asked to meet with Council members during public open comments. The response? There hasn’t been one.

Photo: Sparks Mayor Ron Smith

We did have one meeting with Ward 1 Council Member Donald Abbott. He heard our position graciously and thoughtfully and then mentioned that other Council Members would also meet with us and then we’d see what the next steps might be. He, caring though he is and wise beyond his years, was wrong. No one else has returned our numerous emails and phone calls.

Back in 2015, Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks asked activists to join us at the Washoe County Commission meeting wherein Regional Animal Services Manager (not the Director) was giving an update on regulations they had hoped to codify from the 2014 public meetings they hosted in order to meet NRS where the NV Legislature required all counties in Nevada to update their animal code to the strength of state animal laws, or make the stronger. Curiously, Washoe County was the last county in the state to make the updates which came years after all other Nevada counties updated theirs. Incompetence much?

And we were there to simply make the statement: The public doesn’t want more rules and regulations or loopholes through which puppy stores can wriggle. The public, in the form of 20,000 local hardcopy signatures, wants an end to the sales of dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets in retail stores. End of story.

BybeeThe local and very small anti-animal rights activist network responded as if there were a vote being made that day to ban puppy stores in the County, which was not the case. They came there to defend the Schneiders, which on the whole, didn’t go over well, except with activist Commission member Jeanne Herman.

One of the anti-animal rights activists was Sparks City Council Member Charlene Bybee who made waves when she used her 3 minute public comment period to proclaim, complete with gestures:

Photo: Activist Council Member Bybee

Should Mr. Schneider want to have a store in our town, Sparks welcomes a puppy store with open arms!

Activist Sparks Council Member Charlene Bybee

KrutzSure that Reno was about to pass a ban on the sales of dogs, cats and rabbits (we were, too), Schneider took Bybee up on the offer—can’t help but wonder if the City gave him an incentive—and he opened Puppy Love in the back of a sparsely occupied strip mall in the northern reaches of the city without signage facing the main roads. Puppies are often an impulse purchase and the store being stuck “in a booth in the back in the corner in the dark” makes you wonder….

Photo: Sparks City Manager Krutz

But Reno finally is passing an ordinance that will end the store’s legal trade in puppies by late Spring 2020, latest.

But the Schneiders will be able to continue to sell to Reno residents and have them pick their puppy mill puppies up at the Sparks store. Just as now you see CA license plates, where puppy stores have been illegal since the first of the year, at Puppies Plus.

Reno’s ban will be effective in ending impulse purchases in the brick and mortar, but the Sparks Council’s welcome mat might make the whole thing moot. Why?


Shame on them!

We were forwarded a response, the one and only, it appears, from a community member who Mrs. Bybee responded to, in which she stated the Council was awaiting the outcome of the jury trial to see what their next steps are. Seems likely, as in the case of Reno, if the accused are found guilty the City has the ability to pull their license.

But with Mrs. Bybee being an activist for their cause and is not a person, so we are told, who tackles kindly to losing face, the Council may not do anything whether guilty or not. It could be Mrs. Bybee’s device to ride out the prolonged time to trial (Schneiders waived their right to a speedy trial so they could continue selling through the holiday impulse purchase season), and then choose to let Washoe County Regional Animal Services use their newly instituted Commercial Animal Welfare Permit to take the store to task in the end with Sparks taking a hands off approach.

RattiAnd if all else fails, we can hope the Draft Bill being presented by Senator Julia Ratti, a champion of us when she was Council Member for Ward 1, and a Sparks resident, will pass in the 2021 session and end this long-term cock-up once and for all.

Photo: Nevada State Senator Julia Ratti


Write to all the members of the Sparks City Council and the City Manager and ask them to please meet with Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks to discuss a proposal that 350 other US cities and counties have undertaken in the interest of animal welfare and consumer protection.

Puppy Mill Free Reno website with email link.

Brrr! How to keep warm during a cold protest

75 people came out for our April 2014 protest of puppy mill stores.

Temps projected for Black Friday in Reno are shaping up to below freezing.

But the pups need our voices!

See the details of PMFR’s Black Friday protest on the Facebook event page.

protestBlack Friday
November 29
1 – 4 p.m
Puppies Plus in Reno

Activists hope to have a box of coffee out there to help. And waving and fist-raising will help keep the chill at bay.

Stop by for just a little while and help lend your voice to those who don’t have one.



The ground will have been frozen for a few days, so wear the most insulated shoes/boots you have with thick soles. A thin layer of socks over a thick one can help keep the tootsies warm.

Mittens v. Gloves

Gloves can make life a little easier for tactile utility, but gloves separate your fingers. That isolation can make them susceptible to the cold. Mittens cover your entire hand and the fingers being close together helps keep them warmer longer.

But being in those kinds of temps for any length of time, your hands are bound to get cold. As soon as you notice your hands feeling a little bit uncomfortable, take one off and stick your hand deep in your jacket’s armpit to warm them up. Don’t let them get too cold before you do this.

Some mittens can do double time if you have a thin insulating layer under them, such as a silk liner mitten or glove.

Black Friday, 2015. Cold, but worth every minute even with only two die-hards: Billy Howard (L) and Harry Thomas.


They work. A thin layer of silk tops and bottoms or “thermals” with a warming top over them and tucked into your britches will help keep your natural body warmth going and insulated. A “hard shell” type skiing jacket can keep the cold off of those layers and help keep you toastie for some time.


Must have a hat! A good warm one. The tall knitted tuchs are good to keep the considerable heat coming off the top of your head in circulation and loft over the top of your head. In this cold, you’ll want something coming down over your ears or wear ear-muffs on top of the hat. Not sure what we mean? Check out this Carhartt page [not a sales link, just informational].

Hand & Toe Warmers

They are a thing and they work…. for a little while. You can get a pack of 8 or 10 for about $1 each like these on the REI site [not a sales link, just informational].


If you see fur around a jacket hood or sleeves as trim, that’s probably dog fur. Since dog fur is not considered a luxury “fur” like a gross mink stole or something, it actually comes under the category of “fake fur.” So if you check the label and think that’s synthetic fur, it probably isn’t, especially if sourced from China.

The trim is only for looks, it isn’t in a place to keep you any warmer, it’s just an unnecessary accessory. So you might want to avoid if you can.

Writ to be heard 12/03/19

Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 10:00am

Second Judicial District Court
State of Nevada, Washoe County
75 Court Street, Reno, NV, 89501

Department 9
Chief Judge
Scott N. Freeman

Lawyers for the accused were presenting the case that the owners should have all charges dropped when court was evacuated with the building reportedly under a bomb threat. The hearing was reset for 12/03/2019, 10a.

Pet store owners want charges dropped, KOLO 8 News Now

Big frickin’ waste of time, but their Liars have to at least make a pretense of earning the big sums they command.

Rick Cornell, according to his website, has made a career out of getting people off or into retrials based on technicalities, including getting murderer Darren Mack a hearing for a retrial on the technicality that his lawyers didn’t do their job. Guess who that lawyer was? That’s right, none other than the judge in this case, Judge Freeman.

You won’t need much memory jogging to remember who Darren Mack is if you were anywhere in Northern Nevada in the Spring/Summer of 2006.

Darren Mack became the subject of an international manhunt in June 2006 after being charged with the stabbing death of his 39-year-old estranged wife, Charla Mack, in the garage of their Reno, Nevada home. Mack was also suspected of, and later charged with, the sniper shooting of Family Court Judge Chuck Weller, who was handling the couple’s acrimonious divorce. Charla Mack was murdered after 9:00 a.m. on June 12, 2006, and Judge Weller was shot around 11:05 a.m. the same day.[1] Judge Weller spent time recovering,[2] and returned to his courtroom on August 16.[3]


MackThose who remember the case might relive the horror associated with these reprehensible deeds as it was said at the time that the Macks’ young daughter was in the condominium while her mother was brutally and viciously stabbed to death. The word on everyone’s lips at the time: there doesn’t seem to be any way the child would not have heard her mother begging for mercy, crying out in pain and soon falling silent.

Not sure what happened with his daughter next, but within 1-2 hours Mack shot the divorce judge in sniper-fashion, aiming at his courthouse window from the parking lot structure in downtown Reno. And then this pathetic excuse for a spoiled brat took off for Puerta Vallarta. He was arrested at a resort lounge/bar swimming pool, cocktail in hand? Seems Mack thought he was going to get away with it all, especially with his family’s wealth and connections. Not so fast, p.o.s.

CornellWhat kind of a bucket of nasty juice would help someone like that get a retrial hearing? Ah, what some will do for the sound of clinking coin. And the Mack Family has considerable wealth, having run the Palace Pawn & Jewelry Shop in the heart of the downtown casino district for decades, preying and profiting off of those with a gambling jones.

Cornell is defending Leilani, the one accused of murdering a puppy. Our guess is Leilani will switch lawyers when it comes down to the trial as maneuvering through a courtroom defense is not Cornell’s specialty. As in the Mack retrial, he got the technicality accepted, but he did not litigate the (unsuccessful) retrial itself. Nor does his website indicate he’s done much of that, and certainly not in his later career. In fact, he’s done a lot more opera singing than court time, or so it seems from his vanity website.

KingCornell and King are trying their best to get the case dismissed on technicalities, but, so far, their whiny pleas about how the DA and the State did everything wrong is pretty pathetic even from a novice court room observer’s point of view. “But your honnnor….” Eye roll.

Schneider’s lawyer, Carter King, has erased his history from the Internet. Not a habit of highly successful people…. What is he hiding, one wonders? Public has no way of tracking his success rate. Which usually means there isn’t one. Unless you count, of course, his 1 star rating on Yelp.

Not knowing who Mr. King was at the time, several activists have told us they thought he was a street person when they were approached aggressively by him during a filming of activists by a local news station outside the Reno City Council.

Carter King was smoking heavily, dressed shabbily, and all three remarked on the smell of alcohol on his breath. He came in close to interfere with the chanting being filmed and nearly burned a female by waving his cancer stick close to her face. Well, no one says a lawyer has to be dignified or even sober to do their job…..

See the Court Docs section to read the writ. Quotes some of the evidence presented to Grand Jury. Guaranteed to make your blood boil.

Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks/Washoe 2013-2015

Our hard work paid off in getting the Meadowood Mall puppy store to convert to pet supplies with no sales of puppies. We made headway in Reno, Carson City, Douglas County towards bans, but Reno’s ban was pushed-back by a Washoe County employee who was a friend of the stores. He convinced Sparks and Reno that the so-called “Interlocal Agreement” prevented cities from passing ordinances to do with animals. We made a case at meeting-after-meeting that we were requesting a business licensing change, not an animal ordinance.

Everyone decided to let Washoe County Animal Services try passing stronger regulations with stricter oversight, even as we protested that the vast majority in our community (we collected 20,000 local hardcopy signatures) just wanted the stores shut down! But the August 2019 indictments of puppy store owners for animal cruelty brought the issue—as we knew it would time-and-time again—to the forefront of public outrage.


In early July 2013, San Diego passed the 37th ban in the country. Reno and Washoe County were already on the maps as animal friendly when a 2003 referendum by popular vote, directed Washoe County Regional Services to be provided with a new building complex in which the Humane Society of Nevada (founded in Reno in the early 19th century when Reno was the city of Nevada) to have an equal facility provided within the same complex and for both to be “no-kill,” which at the time actually meant “low-kill.”

Thinking a puppy store ban ordinance would be a quick slam dunk, activist Billy Howard set about getting the Reno City Council to get behind a ban. Howard had earlier graduated from the Reno Citizens Institute and the Washoe County Engaged Leadership Academy and had met many of the staff and Council and Commission.

After building an FB page, extensive website and saw how quickly the idea garnered local support through the summer, Howard approached Reno Council Member Sharon Zadra in late August. She agreed to become the champion for the ordinance and brought up a council resolution in October 2013 to be added to the December 2013 Agenda for a vote.

The December agenda item included a moratorium on issuing new licenses to stores while considering the fate of the three local pet stores: one in midtown, one in Meadowood Mall, and the newly opened Puppies Plus on S. Virginia and Neil Road, owned by the former manager of Pets R Us in the mall, Mike Schneider. The resolution was passed unanimously and an ordinance was ordered to be presented.


In late January 2014, KOLO news reporter Angele Chen, with the support of anchor Amanda Schieve, broke a story of employees on camera crying over the situation in the back of the store, where sick puppies were left untreated to suffer and die, alone in a dark room, with no relief for their pain.

The community rallied and the ordinance moved ahead.

Howard began gathering signatures at every puppy adoption and fund-raising event and garnered the support of every rescue, shelter, doggy day care, dog training and pet supply store in the area which all helped get signatures.

In early April 2014, a mass rally against puppy stores on the corner of Neil and S. Virginia, not far from 2 stores, had attendance from 75 people, an astonishing turnout.

The community was clear: end the sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores.

But a newly elected council member, who had financial interests in Midtown, wanted the pet store there, Best Friends, shut down pronto. She arrived at the store one morning with a battery of code enforcement officers and the owner was charged with not having the proper hot water heater and isolation rooms for sick puppies. The owner spent in the neighborhood of $30,000 to update his store to code. A week later the code enforcers came and cited for more troubles. They were fixed. A week later code enforcement popped the store for having too many plugs in an outlet. The store owner could see the writing on the wall, as there were other tenants in the same building who were not being targeted. He closed the store and doubled down on the Meadowood Mall store, ripe for the impulse purchase.

Howard approached Schieve with the concern that targeting a business could get the city in trouble, and why not get behind the ordinance to end puppy and kitten sales through legislation. Lawsuits that were being lodged against jurisdictions by puppy stores were failing every which way. This could be the win win.