Updated: Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010, 5:16 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010, 12:00 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - A proposed Austin ordinance could force a chain of pet stores, already under fire by an animal rights group , to stop selling dogs and cats in Austin.
The Austin Animal Advisory commission will hold a special meeting and public hearing on Wednesday night to discuss an ordinance banning the retail sale of companion animals if they are not born and raised on site.
"We just do not feel it makes sense to bring in out-of-state animals when so many (in shelters) are being killed," said commission vice chair David Lundstedt.
Lundstedt points to data that estimates a large majority of dogs sold in stores are born in inhumane puppy mills as a reason to stop Petland, but also says the new ordinance would increase adoptions and decrease euthanizations at the Town Lake Animal Center which is currently at 100 percent capacity.
"A retail ban is a piece of the puzzle," said Lundstedt about the city's goals to have a no-kill shelter.
But Petland Sales manager Ben Guerra says his store, which sees protestors most weekends, is getting an unfair reputation and that their dogs are healthy and certified.
"If the ordinance passes, people are going to go through newspaper and craigslist to buy puppies from unregulated sources," said Guerra.
The commission will vote Wednesday to send the proposal to the city council for approval.
Petland is the only store in the city which would be affected, and the ordinance continues a history of protests and actions against the business.
Last year, Petland faced fines for selling animals that were not spayed or neutered
Petland has stores worldwide and is facing a federal lawsuit for allegedly purchasing from “puppy mills.”