Northwest Indiana towns pass policies aimed at puppy mills

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Communities across Northwest Indiana are considering humane pet store policies that ban the sale of pets raised at puppy and kitten mills.

The towns of Dyer and Highland passed similar ordinances this month which which at its core prohibits the sale of puppy mill puppies, the Northwest Indiana Times reported. They’re among the first municipalities in Indiana to have a humane pet store ordinance on the books, joining the city of Columbus and St. Joseph County.

The new policy in Dyer prohibits the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits, but does not prevent pet stores from collaborating with animal care facilities or rescue organizations to offer space to showcase adoptable cats, dogs or rabbits. The ordinance does not pertain to breeders, however.

Those who violate the ordinance are subject to a fine of up to $500 for each violation, or $500 per day for a continuing violation.

Highland’s ordinance does not specify particular penalties for violations, but violations of the new law could fall under the general penalty provision, which allows penalties up to $2,500 per day, local officials said.

Neighboring communities, including Crown Point, Munster and Hobart, are also considering a similar ordinance.

Samantha Morton, Indiana state director for The Humane Society of the United States, told The Times the local ordinances are spurred by new legislation in Illinois that was signed into law last month. The law bans puppy mills in the state and prohibits the sale of dogs and cats by pet shops.

Many of those stores are expected to cross the border into Indiana, Morton said, adding that the Humane Society of the United States Indiana plans to propose a humane pet store bill at the state level in 2022.

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