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Ban on sale of pets at Springfield retail stores takes effect Wednesday

The new ordinance will prohibit the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits, but will allow pet stores to provide shelter animals for adoption instead.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 11:56 AM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 4:52 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Retail stores in Springfield will soon no longer be allowed to sell cats, dogs, and rabbits inside their business. This ordinance was passed last year, but will finally go into effect on Wednesday.

Lori Swanson, executive director of the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, told Western Mass News that their organization will now be in charge of enforcing the ordinance.

“We’re tasked with enforcing the ordinance and animal control will have a role in that, so we will be seeing if there are any infractions as far as the ordinance goes,” Swanson explained.

The only store this really effects in Springfield is The Puppy Place. We reached out to the owner for comment, but they did not answer our request. However, according to their website, the Springfield location will be closing on Wednesday.

Based on this law, retail stores that want to put dogs, cats, or rabbits up for adoption will have to meet certain criteria and prove that the animal is a rescue.

“They are able to adopt out animals and there are certain criteria that they have to meet in order to do those and they involve things like spayed and neutered, vaccinations, and even a price max. There are certain things put into place to ensure that animals are coming from non-profit rescue organizations and that has to be documented,” Swanson noted.

Swanson told us this ordinance was put into place to hopefully help put an end to puppy mills and unethical breeding across the state.

“It’s common knowledge that there are large scale breeding operations. They’re not always focused on the well-being of animals. When it comes to profit or care, there’s studies that have been shown and evidence that the care sometimes is lacking, so we are looking to ensure that every animal has an opportunity to have a healthy life,” Swanson explained.