Roseville has become the first city in the state of Minnesota to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, the Star Tribune reported this week.
It was a unanimous decision by the City Council, one lauded by animal welfare activists, and came largely due to the findings of a federal inspection of a pet store in the Har Mar Mall.
Gary Papineau, the store’s owner, said Tuesday: “I’m very disappointed by this decision.”
Conversely, Christine Coughlin, Minnesota state director for the Humane Society of the United States, was thrilled.
“The community really came together around this issue,” she said. “We are grateful to the Roseville City Council members for their compassion and for taking a stand against the pet store sale of dogs and cats from puppy and kitten mills.”
Many testified in support of the ban, which will prevent consumers from purchasing troubled animals raised in terrible conditions. Pet store owners, though, are less than thrilled.
“I would ask that you not ban the sale of pets,” Kristin Smith, owner of Four Paws and a Tail in Blaine, told the Roseville council. “Maybe work on the problem you are having with the store, without affecting other stores in the state that are doing a good job.”
Council Member Bob Willmus said at the meeting that he had heard from “literally dozens and dozens of Roseville residents,” and felt that “adoption is the more humane model.
One option for the Har Mar store is to follow the example of other stores in helping customers buy rescue animals. Papineau said he hadn’t decided what to do next. “I haven’t gotten that far. It’s a possibility,” he said.
The Har Mar store owner asserted last year that his business was the victim of sensationalized accounts of what a government inspector found there early in 2016. Talk of a “dead baby hedgehog rotting in a cage,” he said, referred to a dime-sized offspring missed in a cleanup after an animal abandoned her litter.
Council members said complaints about the store stretched further back than just last year.
“The humane model of pet stores working with shelters and rescues to offer animals for adoption is a proven one, both locally and nationally,” said Coughlin of the Humane Society. “It’s exciting to see Roseville join over 200 other jurisdictions [across the nation] that have enacted similar policies.”