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Jul 18, 2013 7:39 PM by Erika Flores

Petition against pet stores selling cats and dogs

TUCSON-A petition to ban the sale of cats and dogs at Tucson pet stores has over 750 signatures.

The letter states pet stores encourage puppy and cat mills and contribute to animal overpopulation in shelters.

In just one hour, over seven animals were adopted and 11 special needs animals rescued from Pima Animal Care Center, but there are still so many animals there that need a home, and some people think getting rid of the option of buying a cat or dog at a pet store will lead people to adopt from a shelter.

With so many cats and dogs to choose from at a local shelter, Pat Smothers said the Pima Animal Care Center was his first choice to look for a pet.

"My little kids wanted a dog, so why not come here and try to save an animal," said Smothers. "I think it's a good idea to come out here and support him."

Other might opt for a pet store, but over 750 people are passionately against that.

A petition https://www.change.org/petitions/pima-county-board-of-supervisors-and-tucson-city-council-ban-sales-of-dogs-and-cats-in-pet-stores on change.org asks the city council and Pima County to adopt a measure to ban the sale of dogs and cats at pet stores.

"As a business owner I wouldn't like to see that," said Rick Smolic, owner of Tropical Kingdom Pet Shop.

Smolic said he gets his puppies and kittens from local breeders.

"Breeders and pet stores kill shelter dogs chances by continuing to turn out animals while healthy deserving cats and dogs sit in animal shelters right now awaiting adoption," said Alicia Woempner, PETA's Special Projects Manager.

PETA is not the organizer of this petition, but they have seen similar initiatives across the country.

"It's not going to eliminate those breeders from selling them from their house anyway, so I don't think it is going to totally resolve the issue," said Smolic.

In just over two weeks, the Pima Animal Care Center has received over one thousand animals needing a home, and they hope people will opt for adoption.

"You want a pure breed. Find a pure breed rescue organization that helps us all," said Kim James, manager of Pima Animal Care Center.

Smothers said his family is happy with his adoption.

"It's the buyers decision what they want to have as a pet, so I think that should be their right, but at the same token, I think they should go out and look first at the animal shelters," said Smothers.

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