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Dallas City Council to Consider Banning Sale of Dogs and Cats at Pet Stores

The Dallas City Council is set to vote on banning the sale of dogs and cats at pet stores. It's an ordinance that will only impact one business in town.
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The Dallas City Council on Wednesday will vote on an ordinance to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. To purchase a specific breed, a prospective owner would need to seek out a breeder on their own. There is only one pet store in Dallas that currently sells cats and dogs, Petland at Preston Road and Forest Lane.

The ordinance encourages pet stores to work with rescues and shelters to offer pets for adoption. 

Dallas isn’t the only Texas city mulling some kind of measure meant to discourage puppy and kitten mills. Fort Worth, Euless, The Colony, Sherman, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and College Station have similar bans in place.

Petland owner Jay Suk says the company’s animals are responsibly sourced from breeders he vets.

Petland’s corporate spokeswoman told the Dallas Morning News that if Dallas bans the sale of dogs and cats, as it appears poised to do in Wednesday’s city council meeting, Suk would have to close his store, which she said has paid roughly $2.4 million in sales tax over the last three years.

Suk’s business was actually in danger from a similar ban over the summer. House Bill 1818 made it to the floor, where it was passed by state legislators before dying in committee. That bill banned the sale of commercially-raised dogs and cats in pet stores in cities with populations greater than 200,000. The sale of animals from “qualified breeders,” animal rescues, and shelters was allowed.

Those high-dollar puppies have also made the store attractive to criminals. Most recently, the store was hit twice in two months—on Christmas Eve 2020, and February 18, 2021. In the former case, two thieves broke into the store and stole “multiple” bulldog puppies after breaking through the front door. In the latter, thieves entered through the front door again and took multiple puppies.

In 2017, a man walked out with a Malti-Tzu puppy. In 2016, a couple engaged in identity theft to obtain a credit card and then used that card to buy a nearly $7,000 French bulldog. The year before, a man walked out of the store with a Siberian husky puppy.

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.

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