In the latest victory for companion animals, Indianapolis has banned sales in pet stores of dogs, cats, and rabbits from commercial breeders — thanks to a unanimous vote by the city-county council.
The ban aims to encourage adoption from shelters and reduce the demand for dogs commonly bred and raised in puppy mills — large scale operations where it’s common practice to keep animals in cramped, unsanitary conditions without proper socialization or veterinary care, most often to maximize profits.
“This proposal has been a long time coming,” Council Vice President Zach Adamson said in a press release. “It represents years of planning and coordinating with constituents, non-profit animal welfare groups, and discussions with pet stores.”
The ban will take effect immediately for newly registered pet stores and will take effect in May 2025 for existing pet stores to allow time to transition. Pet stores that violate the ordinance face fines of $500 for the first violation and at least $750 within a year for any additional violations.
More than 440 U.S. cities have authorized similar bans. Indianapolis is now the 14th city in Indiana to pass legislation seeking to end cruel puppy mill sales in pet stores — showing widespread, statewide support for ending the cruel puppy mill market and instead encouraging adoption.
In direct counter to that public will, the Indiana Senate recently passed Senate Bill 134, which would prohibit cities across the state from banning the sale of breeder dogs in pet stores. If the bill passes the House and is signed by the state’s governor, this legislation would render the recent victory in Indianapolis moot and once again put puppies and their parents at increased risk for exploitation and neglect.
If you haven’t already, sign our petition urging Indiana legislators to change course by prohibiting all pet stores from sourcing companion animals from commercial breeders. It is clear that Indiana residents are not in favor of cruel puppy mills, and it’s time state legislators pay attention to the public and the regional bans and usher in a consistent, statewide ban.