Letter to the editor: Ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in IC and CR

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Maui, a German Shepherd and former resident of the Iowa City Animal Center. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

By James Morres

The Cedar Rapids and Iowa City city councils should take a leadership role in the state and ban the sale of puppy mill dogs from pet stores. Communities like St. Paul, Minnesota; Frankling, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Salt Lake City, Utah have recently passed such ordinances, joining hundreds of cities around the country in doing so. As some of Iowa’s largest cities, our city councils have an opportunity to steer the conversation for the rest of the state.

Iowa is home to around 300 large-scale commercial dog breeders. Some have 50 breeder pairs… but a few have as many as 150 breeding dogs. These facilities may be licensed by the USDA or the state of Iowa, but the recent ASPCA raid near Manly, Iowa shows how low those standards are. Both CR and IC have stores that sells puppies from facilities licensed the same way.

The Iowa legislature has not and likely will not act to better regulate these facilities. So Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and other local communities should fill the gap by prohibiting the sale of dogs from puppy mills. To be clear, such a ban would not stop anyone from buying a puppy from a reputable breeder… and it wouldn’t stop breeders from raising puppies. But it would stop the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline for the Corridor.

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  1. Petland in Iowa City and Pet’s Playhouse in Cedar Rapids are the local shops putting profit above the welfare of animals. Iowa City and Cedar Rapids should put a stop to it.

  2. I do agree we need to stop letting people making a profit off of dogs being bred when we have so many dogs and cats being euthanasized in our shelters, And in no kill shelters not getting adopted. We need to stop the puppies, cat, bird , rabbit Mills, in Iowa. Cedar Rapids, Ia City should be setting examples since we are two major cities in Is. Plus Linn county needs to start regulating in existing law of having to have a permit for breeding.

  3. Agree. According to Humane Society of the United States, puppy mills supply a shocking 99 percent of dogs sold in pet stores nationwide. When puppy mills and backyard breeders flood the market with animals, they reduce homes available for animals from reputable establishments, shelters and rescue groups. Dogs from puppy mills are bred for profit and live in horrific conditions. The goal is to produce and sell as many puppies as possible without any thought to the welfare of the animals. Pet store sales of puppy mill puppies supports the continued existence of puppy mills.

    Iowa is one of the worst states for puppy mills – in terms of number and conditions. The dogs are often inbred. Inbreeding and crowded, unsanitary conditions create health and behavioral issues. Female dogs are continuously pregnant and confined in small dirty cages, stacked on top of each other. They are abandoned or killed when no longer able to produce puppies.

    Pet stores should be contributing to the overpopulation solution, not the overpopulation problem. They should be required to sell only animals from animal rescues, shelters or adoption centers. Iowa City should join the long list, at the following link, of progressive communities that prohibit pet store sales of puppy mill puppies.

  4. Edit: Iowa City AND Cedar Rapids should join the long list of communities that prohibit pet store sales of puppy mill puppies.

  5. Please help stop puppy mills by not allowing puppy sales. Dogs are euthanized every day due to overpopulation. There is so much evidence against Petland in Iowa City it’s a shame. Step up & be a voice for the voiceless.

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