WASHINGTON — Everyone has seen images of puppy mills, where dogs are crammed into cages awaiting sale to anyone with the cash or credit card to buy them.
No one wants to buy from puppy mills, but the possibility that they’re sending dogs to pet stores has inspired a Montgomery County Council member draft a proposal that could ban the sale of puppies — and kittens — in pet stores.
“I know it will be controversial,” says Montgomery County Council member George Leventhal.
He also knows it would leave open a difficult question: Where are you supposed to buy a puppy if not from a pet store?
The Humane Society of the United States says the place to go is a shelter or a rescue group or to a responsible breeder who doesn’t sell to stores or online.
Bob Likins, director of government affairs at the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, says the proposal is an overreaction.
“Painting all of them with a brush that says they raise their animals in these miserable conditions just isn’t realistic,” Likins says.