LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Starting Wednesday, December 20th, pet stores in Clark County will no longer be allowed to sell dogs, cats, rabbits, or pet pigs.
“At the end of the day, what this does is make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect the most vulnerable people,” said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, who spearheaded the ordinance. “
About a year ago, Clark County commissioners voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that would have banned retailers from selling these animals. Sale of animals is also not allowed at the swap meet.
According to the county, the sale of animals such as fish, frogs, hamsters, ferrets and rats will still be allowed.
“It’s the right thing to do. There’s no way a puppy store can sell animals that are humanely raised. They’re brought in here in unsafe conditions. There’s really no regulation,” Naft said. Naft said. “We know puppy mills are no longer viable and we don’t want that type of business here in Southern Nevada. We want people to adopt and not shop.”
According to the ordinance, pet stores can partner with rescue organizations or animal shelters to adopt dogs, cats, rabbits and pot-bellied pigs.
Retailers “shall have no ownership interest in the animals offered and shall not charge a fee for providing placement or adoption of any animal.” Naft said this is a big advantage for these businesses.
“There are cases right now where some of the larger retailers partner with shelters and rescues to make sure they’re offering their space and they’re encouraging people to adopt,” Naft said. “If you’re selling pet supplies, that’s a big plus.”
Over the past year, many pet stores across the county have been gearing up for a major makeover.
Viviana Duarte, a receptionist at Spoiled Pup LV, said she has sold most of her puppies. Duarte said his shop won’t be affected much by the change.
While a portion of their profits come from dog sales, Duarte said most of the money comes from their grooming services, she said.
“We’re going to miss having dogs here and taking care of them ourselves.” Duarte said. “They will be missed, but hopefully it will be better… We have Asian Fusion Grooming and that’s where we get most of our revenue from.”
If the store can’t sell the last two puppies, the store owner will take the puppies home, she said.
“They’re all going to be taken care of, they’re going to foster homes,” Duarte added.
He said he is also thinking of different ways to make up for the lost revenue.
“More beds on display, more trees, more toys,” she said.
In the meantime, Naft said the county has a plan for animals that don’t sell by the deadline.
“We’ve been in contact with the animal shelters with the NSCPA,” Naft said. “And are willing to help these stores take the pets they need and get them to safe homes.”
Stores violating the ordinance can face fines of up to $500 or a maximum fine of the “resale value” of the animals.