A federal judge in Phoenix, Arizona just ruled that all dogs and cats sold in pet stores must come from animal shelters or non-profit organizations. The ruling upholds an ordinance passed in 2013 that was challenged by a store called Puppies N’Love, which claimed it violates constitutionally-granted interstate commerce laws. Those in favor of doing away with puppy mills and encouraging pet owners to adopt or rescue companions see the decision as a great step forward.

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Phoenix is one of about 60 US cities that have such laws in place. US District Court Judge David Campbell upheld the city’s 2013 ordinance, identifying that it may put Puppies N’Love in a tough spot, but they still have to follow the law. Maureen Beyers, attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, says “The ruling is a great victory, not just for the city of Phoenix, but also for the Humane Society of the United States, which has worked tirelessly to help municipalities throughout the U.S. enact these laws (and defend challenges to them) to stem the trade of puppy and kitten mill animals and decrease animal euthanasia and overpopulation.”

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It is estimated that 23,000 dogs are sold in Maricopa County alone, with the state’s average being much higher. Hopefully, illuminating such victories will bring the question to more consumers’ minds: “Why do we breed animals to be sold when there are so many out there who already need homes?”

Via True Activist

Images via Shutterstock (1,2)