Some Kentucky lawmakers hope to repeal the pet store ordinance.

Louisville, Ky. — Introduced by the Kentucky State Senate. Senate Bill 157which would not allow local governments to pass ordinances that prevent pet stores from selling dogs and cats under certain conditions.


What do you want to know?

  • Senate Bill 157 would not allow local governments to pass ordinances that prohibit pet stores from selling dogs and cats.
  • The Louisville Metro Council passed an ordinance in September that would ban the sale of cats and dogs in public and outdoor spaces, as well as at pet stores.
  • Jay Hockersmith, owner of Pet’s Palace in Louisville, said his business would suffer when the ordinance goes into effect.
  • Senate Bill 41 would ban retail pet stores from selling dogs and cats unless they come from an animal shelter.

This fall, an ordinance will go into effect in Louisville that would ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, but it could be affected by a proposed Senate bill. In September, the Louisville Metro Council passed an ordinance that would ban the sale of cats and dogs in public and outdoor spaces, as well as at pet stores.

Pet’s Palace, Louisville’s oldest pet store, is one of two retail pet stores in Louisville that sell cats and dogs. Jay Hockersmith, 72, has been working there since he was 17, when he was still in high school.

Shortly after graduating from the University of Louisville with a degree in biology, he purchased the business and has run it ever since.

“It’s really a death blow for us,” said Hockersmith, owner of Pete’s Palace. “We depend on our kitten and puppy sales to keep the business alive, so if we’re not able to sell kittens and puppies, we can’t survive.”

Under SB 157, a local agency cannot enact an ordinance that prohibits the operation of a retail pet store unless the pet comes from a shelter or qualified breeder, the pet is at least eight of the week and the buyer is an adult.

If the bill becomes law, Hockersmith said he hopes things will return to the way they were before the ordinance was passed.

“This will allow us to sell puppies and kittens,” he said. “It requires us to source these kittens and puppies from reputable breeders, which we’ve always done, so it puts everything back to how it used to be.”

Some opponents of the bill have said it would allow the sale of cats and dogs from puppy and kitten mills, leading to overpopulation, which they say would overcrowd shelters and hurt taxpayers. can do

“Puppy mills are a terrible, terrible thing,” said Thom Hamm, executive director of Arrow Fund. “They’re treated there in cages … you can’t even see what the dog looks like. They know it might be a Yorkie, but it might just look like a big clump of hair.”

Hawkersmith said all of her kittens and puppies are local rescues. She added that her business couldn’t possibly stay open if it couldn’t sell kittens and puppies.

“At what point does a breeder become a puppy mill? If you’re a great breeder and you’re a responsible breeder, what’s wrong with that?” Hawkersmith said.

Also introduced by the Kentucky State Senate Senate Bill 41which would ban retail pet stores from selling dogs and cats unless they come from an animal shelter.

Petland, which has three locations in the Commonwealth, sent the following statement to Spectrum News 1:

Maria Smith said, “It is important to recognize that sanctions often fail to address the underlying problems and may inadvertently fuel unregulated, unlicensed underground fueling by irresponsible breeders. Bans essentially serve to shut down legitimate pet stores without effectively addressing the concerns they are intended to alleviate.” , Communications Director, Petland Inc.

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