NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado Springs City Council votes down ordinance banning sale of puppies at retail pet shops

Posted at 12:09 AM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 03:05:26-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs City Council turned down an ordinance banning the sale of puppies at retail pet shops in a 5-3 vote during Tuesday's regular council meeting.

The ordinance was introduced by City Council President Tom Strand who said the sale of puppies at local pet stores promotes puppy mills in the state.

Pet City, a local pet shop, has two locations at the Citadel Mall and Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs. The shop first opened 53 years ago and runs mainly off selling puppies to customers. Dustin Haworth and Bree Maestas, brother and sister and co-owners of the locations, said the ordinance would cause them to close their doors.

"We have four generations of experience and knowledge and we care about what the consumer wants, we care about the animals, and we can help push further humane responsibility and animal ownership here in Colorado," said Maestas.

The proposed ordinance has one key difference from a similar ordinance voted down 5-4 in 2021. The new one would allow pet stores to remain open if they sourced at least 50% of their puppies from rescues and shelters. Haworth said that is not something Pet City is open to doing.

"I'm not interested in sourcing rescue and shelter pups into the store to put the other pups at risk. We see their animals come from unknown origins, and unknown diseases and backgrounds," he said.

Haworth said half of their puppies come from Canine Care Certified breeders, which follow standards regarding environment, socialization, medical care, and rehoming of adult dogs retired from breeding. Councilmember Nancy Henjum applauded the Pet City owners on their work toward sourcing from certified breeders and was one of the five council members to turn down the ordinance.

City Council President Tom Strand, however, said he remains committed to getting the ordinance passed even after his time with the city council.

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