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Indianapolis outlaws sale of dogs, cats, rabbits at pet shops

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night approved a ban on pet stores selling dogs, cats and rabbits.

Some big box stores only sell pets from shelters or rescues. Indianapolis becomes the 14th Indiana locality to ban the sale of cats and dogs at pet shops. Carmel passed its ban in June.

The law would taken effect May 1 for pet stores opened after Sept. 1, 2021. Stores that opened before that date have until May 1, 2025, to comply.

Violation would result in a $500 civil penalty for a first offense in a 12-month period, the law says.

Democrat council members John Barth, Zach Adamson, Dan Boots, Jason Larrison, and Ali Brown sponsored the measure. Adamson, the council’s vice president, said in a statement that “the law represents years of planning and coordinating with constituents, non-profit animal welfare groups, and discussions with pet stores.”  

Councilors wanted to pass the law before Indiana legislators adopt Senate Bill 134, which would prevent municipalities from banning pet stores from dogs, cats and rabbits.

The city council says letters in support of the law came from Indy Humane, Friends of Indy Animals, Guardian Angel Bassett rescue, Love of Labs Indiana, Medical Mutts, Golden Retriever Rescue, Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, FACE Low-Cost Clinic, and Indiana House Rabbit Society.