Internet slow clap for Cambridge, Massachusetts! This corner of the greater Boston area was the first to ban the commercial sale of not only cats and dogs, but also reptiles, birds, amphibians, and arachnids. Basically, the sale of any pet who is not obtained from a rescue shelter or comes from a home breeder is now illegal.
This new legislation will curb inhumane breeding practices and treatment of animals, like those found in puppy mills. Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of a Petco and PetSmart supplier which revealed “tens of thousands of animals kept in horrific conditions to fuel the pet trade”. Decomposing animal bodies caged beside live animals were found, alongside animals who were frozen alive, deprived of food, water, and basic decency.
The shops are given a 12 month period to find their current animals a home and to reevaluate their business model. The pet shops could be slapped with a $300 per animal fine if caught selling illicitly gotten pets after this period.
Cambridge Vice Mayor Marc McGovern has long been an animal rights advocate. When questioned about the pet shop industry, he states that “[the industry] cannot and has not been able to weed out bad breeders, and they do business with bad breeders, and I can’t turn a blind eye to that. This … comes down to, is Cambridge going to be knowingly part of an industry that mistreats animals, or are we going to say, ‘No, it’s not going to happen here’?”
Way to go, Cambridge!