Phoenix, AZ – The city of Phoenix will remain free of pet shops that sell puppy mill dogs after a US District Court upheld the ban enacted on December 2013. A local pet store chain, Puppies ‘N Love, sued the city over the ordinance, questioning its legality through the use federal constitutional laws. Among their arguments were claims to violations of their rights to interstate commerce and equal protection. Recently, a similar case in Sunrise, Florida concluded in June with the judge dismissing the claims that the ban was unconstitutional. That comes a few months after two other cases in Cook County, Illinois and East Providence, Rhode Island ended with a ruling in favor of the local governments, preserving the enacted bans.
The Phoenix case caught the attention of the pet industry. A victory would have meant that they could have used the ruling against the growing movement of pet shop bans led by CAPS in the United States (CAPS has also assisted with ordinances in Canada). Four major pet industry companies donated over $100,000 in legal fees supporting Puppies ‘N Love. The lawsuit quickly became a battle between the pet industry and animal protection activist. Thankfully, the court cemented the ban’s validity and pet lovers scored another huge victory.
Municipalities across the country that are considering similar legislation have kept a close eye on this case and others because the same federal constitutional laws apply. With legal victories in Rhode Island, Florida, Illinois, and now Arizona, local governments have a wealth of precedents to use in favor of pet shop ordinances. CAPS is at the very center of this movement and is currently working on or preparing for ordinances in Florida, Illinois, New York, and California.