BRYAN, Texas — The city of Bryan has now become the eleventh city in Texas that bans the sale of commercially bred puppies and kittens in pet stores. The new ordinance was passed last Tuesday by the Bryan city council.
It also prohibits the sale of animals outside, which would deter those who sell litter at parking lots and flea markets.
Wienerspiel nonprofit president Judy LeUnes has helped lead the charge to have this ordinance passed, first achieving something similar in College Station last year.
“When we’re talking about trying to stop these puppy mills, puppies that are six to eight weeks old, of they’re lucky, get put on 18 wheelers," LeUnes said, explaining how many dogs end up in pet stores. "... and they ship them down here. So whatever puppies make it are the ones – and they’re all sick. They’ve been away from their moms and are not getting fed all the time.”
Both Wienerspiel and the Humane Society of the United States supported Bryan’s passing of the ordinance, stressing that reputable and healthy dog breeders would never use a pet store as a vendor.
“San Marcos and New Braunfels both just had a puppy selling pet store open up, all the way down to Texas City," said Lauren Loney, director for the Humane Society of the United States' Texas chapter. "So they are all over the state.”
Animal lovers are excited to see Bryan join 10 other Texas cities in taking a stand against stores sourcing from puppy mills, as businesses in Bryan may now only sell dogs and cats from approved rescues and shelters.
Rescue directors like LeUnes and Loney hope more towns will follow in Bryan’s footsteps. Ultimately, they say a statewide law would be more effective.
“House Bill 1818, which was written by Rep. Jared Patterson, was a statewide bill to prohibit the sale of commercially bred puppies," Loney said. "... [Last year] we were just at the final step of making sure the House and Senate versions matched, and we ran out of time.”
Loney said she is very hopeful for a statewide law upcoming for the year 2023.