Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2018

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Las Vegas City Council reconsidering puppy mill ordinance

The Las Vegas City Council on Nov. 15 will consider repealing an ordinance limiting pet shops to only selling dogs, cats and pot-bellied pigs obtained from a shelter or nonprofit rescue organization.

The ordinance was approved in January 2016 and is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1. The delay was designed to give two businesses that would be affected time to adjust their business model.

One of those businesses — Puppy Boutique at Craig Road and Rancho Drive — has made it clear it has not done so and is in danger of closing because of the ordinance.

Last month, Councilwoman Michele Fiore and Councilman Steve Seroka, who were not on the council when the ordinance was narrowly approved, took issue with it and called for a re-evaluation.

Fiore introduced a repeal at today’s meeting, and it was scheduled for possible adoption at the council’s next meeting on Nov. 15.

Council members do not comment on ordinances or repeals when they are introduced. But Councilman Stavros Anthony, who voted for the ordinance in 2016, stressed a need to promote the upcoming agenda item.

“When (the ordinance) was introduced, it had the most public comment of any agenda item since I’d been on City Council,” he said. “I want to make sure the public knows we’re rehearing this. I am assuming when this was all said and done (in 2016), people kind of forgot about it.”

Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian agreed and stressed the need to give the public an appropriate amount of time to speak — “not just a few seconds, but a full amount of time. If not, I don’t think that would be very fair.”

The ordinance was designed to stop support of so-called puppy mills that keep animals in inhumane conditions, as well as promote the adoption of animals from shelters and rescues.

During an earlier discussion of the ordinance, Fiore took said it stepped on the rights of animal lovers who want specific breeds.

Seroka expressed concerns for local small businesses and questioned whether the ordinance would have the intended affect.

Last month, the Clark County Commission opted not to pursue a similar ordinance. California, meanwhile, has signed into law a statewide ban on breeder-sourced pets in retail stores.