More Indiana communities are taking a stance against puppy mills.
U.S. Humane Society Indiana State director Samantha Morton said several cities have passed ordinances aimed at pet stores that source from puppy mills.
“We have seen great momentum on the local level back in 2021 with 5 Indiana communities passing humane pet store ordinances including Dyer, Highland, Columbus, Crown Point and Bloomington,” Morton said.
Morton said some of the local ordinances are spurred by a new law in Illinois that bans puppy mills and prohibits the sale of dogs and cats by pet shops. Many of those stores are expected to cross the border into Indiana because there is no state law that prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores.
“We’ve seen a lot of pet stores that sell puppies that’s moving into northwest Indiana and a lot of communities are responding by saying we don’t want these stores coming into our community next,” Morton said.
Marion County does not have a local ordinance but is expected to consider one this year.
The Humane Society of the United States Indiana is lobbying lawmakers to pass a humane pet store bill at the state level during the 2022 legislative session.
Indiana ranks No. 2 in the country for commercial licensed pet breeders and many of those are considered puppy mills, according to a 2021 map from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
HSUS also plans to propose several pieces of legislation this year that protects big cats and bears from close-up encounters at roadside zoos and strengthen Indiana’s animal fighting laws to hold animal fighters more accountable.