New Pet Shops Temporarily Banned in San Marcos, TX
Photo: Charlie Neuman

Late last month the City Council in San Marcos, Texas decided to temporarily ban new pet shops from opening in the city. Currently the council is trying to decide whether they should permanently restrict the sale of commercially bred pets, and they do not want any other shops opening until the final decision is made.

Dozens of people spoke out against and in favor of the ban at the council’s public meeting, but the gathering ended with a unanimous vote.

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Roughly one month after David Salinas opened a store called Mini Toy Puppies issues began to arise. Protests followed quickly after that which were led by many of the same people that protested Salinas’ pet stores in other cities.

New Pet Shops Temporarily Banned in San Marcos, TX

The measure bans any new stores from opening for 45 days, and could possibly be extended if city officials have not had enough time to study the issue and create regulations to govern these kinds of retail stores. Town officials are hoping that the ban encourages people to adopt pets from shelters and rescue organizations instead of buying them from pet shops.

Supporters of the ban are concerned that these animals are coming from puppy mills and irresponsible breeders. They believe the city should issue an outright ban on selling commercially bred pets and force shop owners like Salinas to close their doors.

Still, there were people present who opposed the ban, including Salinas and a handful of his employees. He spoke about his business growing and the number of repeat customers that are seen in his four pet stores on a regular basis. His employees addressed the council to say that all the animals in the shops are well cared for; however no one mentioned how Salinas acquired them.

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The city even received a letter from the American Kennel Association stating the organizations concerns about the legislation. The letter stated that the organization believes that if this ordinance passes families in the area will lose a very important source of attaining a pet that best meets their needs and lifestyle.

Many families research the kind of dog that they are interested in before they purchase one, and they tend to settle on purebreds because they can find a breed that best suits their circumstances and environment. It is hard to know what to expect with a mixed breed, which is typically what you find at shelters and rescue organizations.