4th Statewide Puppy Mill Store Ban in World, 3rd in US

Even whilst Maryland’s statewide ban is being challenged in court (it will lose like 13 other attempted lawsuits), Maine’s Governor Janet Mills has moved the legislature’s 6 month old bill to law.

Our sister site Puppy Mill Free US reports extensively on the history of Maine’s ban, which could have been the first in the world back in 2015 in their article Maine’s Convoluted Path to a Ban.

Meanwhile, the Puppy Mill Free.US global tracking map has a new blue state!



2020 State of the State: Bye-Bye Puppy Stores!

Have talked to a lot of elected officials over the past 4 months: one thing seems to be clear at the start of the new year: they all signal they are DONE with puppy stores.

To the person, they all think the trial will find the Schneiders guilty followed with the requisite closing of both stores they own.

Makes us uneasy as the trial could go either way. And frankly—it seems anyway—the more confident a party the more the surprise when the jury foreperson declares

“We the jury have found the defendants (pause…. drama….) NOT guilty!”

Asked about such a contingency they all have declared, “Well, then we’ll have to see what steps we will have to take….”

Making it feel pretty certain that one way or another the stores will be closing, whether through ordinance such as in Reno or by the recent licensing requirement of the stores that could have Animal Services bear down on them in such a way the owners would cry “Uncle!”

Sparks, by the way, is excluded in all this. They just simper at activists from the dais when asked to meet with them. The Libertarian juggernaut that is the Sparks Council is immovable. But when Schneiders are found guilty, the matter will, finally, be out of their hands. We’d sure like to see an ordinance there preventing any future stores from coming in and starting the whole mess 0ver again. Anyone who does any mild amount of research will come to the same conclusion:

There are no good puppy mill stores.

An awful lot of questions remain and we blanch at the cavalier attitude to a jury trial, especially after witnessing the Writ hearing where it was clear to all the DA of the day could have been stronger.

But the bottom line is as in our top line: Local officials are sick of the hot mess that are puppy stores and the community is marching to end them.

We all wish it would be sooner than later.

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

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.