FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — In a unanimous vote Tuesday, July 19, the Fayetteville City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens unless the pets are from or working with a shelter.
The Fayetteville Animal Services Advisory Board is the group behind the ordinance. Members say they began creating the idea for the ordinance when the Petland in Rogers opened its doors. With a Petland preparing to open in Fayetteville on Joyce Boulevard, members say time is of the essence.
“We can’t regulate what happens everywhere, right? But we can regulate what happens within our city limits,” said Justine Lentz, the animal service superintendent for the City of Fayetteville and Fayetteville Animal Services Advisory Board.
Members of the advisory board claim Petland gets its pets from animal mills, not caring for the animals. They say the company is making high profits off "mistreated pets."
“Thousands of dollars… we're talking about $7,000 to $10,000 for a puppy,” said Jen Boyer, the chair of the Fayetteville Animal Services Advisory Board. Officials with Petland say these claims are not true.
"We have procedures and protocols in place. We’re always focusing on one priority, which is the health and happiness of pets at the store,” said Caren Barker, a Petland animal care trainer. Barker added that Petland does care for its animals and does not get them from mills.
“They are taken care of, they are loved,” said Melina Kwon, the owner of a Petland dog.
The ordinance will not stop any pet shops like Petland from opening their doors, but instead, prevent them from selling or displaying puppies or kittens.
“It wouldn’t prevent them from having a pet supply, like a normal pet supply business just like anyone else,” Lentz said. “It’s just targeting the commercial sales of puppies and kitties.”
While the Fayetteville City Council did pass the ordinance, the emergency clause failed, meaning the ordinance will not go into effect until next month.
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