Las Vegas bans new pet stores for 3 months

Updated December 6, 2017 - 6:46 pm

The city of Las Vegas will not accept applications from new businesses that want to sell pets for the next three months.

The moratorium is aimed at giving city officials time to work with Clark County to draft similar ordinances aimed at stemming the sale of inhumanely bred animals without hurting existing pet shops in the valley.

“I’m not a fan of stopping a legal business from beginning,” Councilwoman Michele Fiore said.

The city granted a license for a dog training service to a group that wants to start selling dogs. Deputy Planning Director Mary McElhone said she has “concerns” about the applicant.

In the meantime, city officials are working on a new local law aimed at cracking down on “puppy mills,” profit-driven commercial breeding operations.

Last month, a divided City Council voted to repeal a ban on pet stores selling animals not obtained through rescue or animal care organizations. That ban, which was slated to take effect in January, would have affected Puppy Boutique and Petland stores in Las Vegas.

Pet shop owners said the ban would force them out of business. Other people who spoke in favor of the repeal wanted to maintain a choice for residents seeking pets.

The November repeal came with assurances from city officials that they planned to work on new rules to take aim at puppy mills without harming the businesses.

“I know the word can scare some people,” Councilman Steve Seroka said of the moratorium. “But it says we’re putting a pause on something.”

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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