Three Other Washington Cities Passed Similar Bans
Pet lovers across Washington celebrated on May 28 because the Gig Harbor City Council voted 4-3 to ban retail sale of dogs from puppy mills. The ban also includes the sale of cats and rabbits.
Instead, the city will adopt what’s known as the humane model which only allows pet stores to have adoption events from animal rescues and shelters.
Gig Harbor is the fourth city in Washington to ban the retail sales of pets. Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, and Poulsbo passed bans as well.
California, Maryland, and nearly 300 US cities have passed similar measures to crack down on the cruel puppy mill industry.
The bans prevent pet stores from buying puppies from out-of-state, mass-producing breeders also known as ‘puppy mills.’
Puppy Mills: Inhumane Dog Breeding Operations
A puppy mill is an inhumane commercial dog breeding facility.
The people that run them often disregard the health and well-being of dogs by lowering overhead and maximizing profits.
These massive breeders enjoy little to no government oversight and routinely put profits above the welfare of their dogs.
They treat their dogs as nothing more than breeding machines and puppies as nothing more than agricultural products.
They often sell puppies to pet stores to hide this cruelty at their facilities.
Local Resident Spurs Campaign
The effort in Gig Harbor was spearheaded by local resident Angela Sisney. She brought the issue to the city council last January.
Councilmember Jenni Woock worked closely with local citizens and dozens of concerned animal advocates throughout the state to enact this historic change.
The Council’s passage of the ban shows how one individual has the power to spark an army of supporters to make their community safer for pets and people.
Currently, Gig Harbor does not have any stores that sell pets; however, I believe this preventative approach sets an example for Washington cities that haven’t passed a ban. It also and keeps pet stores that sell puppies from irresponsible breeders out of the community.
Ultimately, our goal is to convince the Legislature to enact a statewide ban on the sale of dogs from puppy mills.
I truly hope Kitsap County will follow Gig Harbor’s lead when they vote on this measure later this year.
Kim Siebens, is the President of Their Voice, a nonprofit organization which educates people on animal protection and provides resources for underserved pets and their owners.
She founded “Their Voice” in order to educate the community puppy mills stop people from unknowingly supporting that cruel industry. Kim grew up on a small family farm in Sequim, WA.
Kim moved to Kitsap County in 2006. She now resides in Bremerton, WA with her significant other, Michael and their 4 dogs: Riley, Maggie, Louie, and Buddy.