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Tempe To Relax Law Banning Commercial Dog Sales

puppy dog
(Photo by graphicstock.com)
An Australian shepherd puppy.

The Tempe City Council will vote to change what types of pets can be sold at city pet stores Thursday. The change is a direct response to state law enacted earlier this month. 
Tempe and Phoenix had previously banned the sale of commercially bred cats and dogs and required pets to come from shelters.  A law signed by Gov. Doug Ducey prevents Arizona cities from regulating animal sales, pre-empting the city laws.

“I would say the bill was a compromise,” said Arizona Humane Society CEO Steven Hansen. The organization worked with state lawmakers to craft the legislation.

The law allows the sale of animals raised by breeders licensed and in compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pet shops will have to display information about breeders next to each pet for sale.
“Consumers can find out where the puppies are coming from they can make an informed decision on whether this is a puppy to purchase or whether they should go to an animal shelter and rescue a pet,” Hansen said.

The owner of Animal Kingdom pet store in Tempe was a vocal opponent of Tempe’s earlier ordinance and supported the state measure. The shop sells purebred and hybrid puppies— bulldogs, German shepherds and golden retrievers are some of the most popular breeds.

“Those (Tempe) ordinances threatened our livelihood,” said Linda Nofer, the director of marketing for the store. “We also believe that an owner, a dog owner should be able to have the right to choose the pet of his or her choice."

Tempe City Councilwoman Lauren Kuby, who supported the original ordinance, said the law does give the city some authority to chek up on pet shops.

“Tempe is currently working on designing and implementing a very effective and strong enforcement mechanism as quickly as possible,” Kuby said.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.