Blaine City Council members discussed restricting the retail sale of pets in the city during their Oct. 4 working session. Council Member Jason Smith originally requested council members discuss the pros and cons of the amendment, which resulted in two options: an outright ban of retail pet sales or a licensure model that would ensure the ethical sale of animals.
Both Roseville and Eden Prairie have already implemented a ban on the retail sale of pets at local stores.
Currently there are six pet stores in Blaine, only one of which chooses to sell pets at their store. All major pet store chains like PetCo and PetSmart already ban the retail sale of pets, citing concerns over the ethical treatment of the animals.
“I believe the current federal and state guidelines are inadequate and unethical, and I prefer Blaine to not participate in that type of business,” said Council Member Smith.
Council members Jess Robinson, Wes Hovland and Julie Jeppson shared concerns that a ban would specifically target the existing pet store, Four Paws and a Tail. The pet store is a longstanding business in the city, and council members questioned how a ban would affect the store’s business model.
According to Hovland, Four Paws and a Tail has been investigated numerous times as far back as 2012, and all investigations have remained unfounded.
“We all really do agree where we want to go is to remove cruel treatment of animals, and we don’t want to support businesses that support cruelty to pets. We want to protect this business that has been longstanding in this city, and it seems they’ve held themselves to a high standard. What we want to do is maintain their honesty,” said Jeppson.
If a ban were to go into effect, it would not impact individuals and private entities who wish to sell pets. This ban would only apply to retail businesses.
As for the potential adoption of a licensure model, Hovland proposed that retailers disclose their breeders and partake in background checks in order to assure transparency.
As of now, there is not enough support among City Council members for an outright ban, but members are considering the details of the licensure model as they move forward in this process.
Staff Writer Corinne Stremmel can be reached at email@example.com or 651-407-1226.