It is not unconstitutional to ban the retail sale of dogs and cats

The question came up at the Madison Borough Council meeting, when they passed an ordinance banning the selling of cats and dogs at pet stores, that such an ordinance is unconstitutional. The argument is that it prevents one set of retailers i.e. pet shops selling pets while allowing other retailers to sell other items. In short some people argue that it is restricting business and creating a playing field which is not level. It’s basically unfair and therefore unconstitutional.

Madison Borough Council meeting. Photo: fair use.
Madison Borough Council meeting. Photo: fair use.

However, Madison Borough Council’s ban on the sale of cats and dogs at stores in the borough is not unconstitutional because Janice Fisher of Friends of Animals United in New Jersey said that in New Jersey seven out of 130 ordinances banning the retail sale of dogs and cats have been challenged on constitutional grounds but all seven passed the test of constitutionality.

It is quite nice to hear that because there is a trend across the United States of America for banning cats and dogs at pet stores for the simple reason that it encourages puppy and kitten mills. These are backstreet breeders keeping animals under appalling conditions with the sole intention of breeding cats and dogs as fast as possible while ignoring their health and character.

This leads to numerous instances of people buying cats and dogs in pet stores, who get their animals from these breeders, and discovering later on that their pets are seriously ill. They fork out fortunes in veterinary bills and never quite get to a healthy animal. By the time they have to fork out for veterinary bills owners have become attached to their pets to they cannot relinquish them. These backstreet breeders are highly irresponsible and do a lot of damage primarily to animals which they bring into the world and secondly to the good people who are looking for a companion animal to brighten up the lives.

I’m all in favour of what the Madison Borough Council has done. There are arguments against it by the community and some people think that this ordinance does not have support in the community but clearly it does have sufficient support because the community’s representatives decided upon it.

This ordinance also promotes the adoption of cats and dogs from shelters. There is no place in the modern world for breeding cats and dogs when there are so many unwanted animals needing homes.