Thursday, August 20, 2015


Iredell County NC Animal Control has proposed changes to the county ordinance. A public hearing is scheduled for August 25, 2015 at 6:00 PM, at the Iredell County Agricultural Extension Office, 444 Bristol Drive, in Statesville. The ordinance is posted online here
The proposed ordinance includes a number of very problematic changes for dog, cat, and horse owners. 

1. A poorly worded new definition of companion animal has been added. “Companion Animal means any animal kept primarily for pleasure, rather than utility, including, but not limited to, all domestic dogs (canus lupus familiarus), domestic cats (felis catus), and all members of the horse family (equidae), except when equines are used exclusively and actively for the maintenance of other utility livestock.” It is not clear which dogs will be considered utility or what purposes will be considered as kept for pleasure or why this division is necessary. Horses must never be defined as companion animals. They are livestock under state law and should remain so. Any other classification than livestock would subject horses to care standards at the whim of local officials. 

2. Size requirement for outdoor enclosures has been added. “As a guide, the enclosure should be a minimum of one hundred (100) square feet, plus five (5) square feet for each pound over twenty-five (25) total combined pounds for the animals contained therein.” Following this guideline, two 40-pound dogs kenneled together would require a 375 SF enclosure. A small kennel with 6 dogs would therefore require enclosures equaling 1,175 SF and 10 dogs would require pens totaling 1,975 SF. There is no logic or basis in either science or animal husbandry to dictate such pen sizes. These excessive space requirements impose unnecessary restrictions on hunters and dog hobbyists.

3. Added to cruelty to animals, new 5(c). ‘Dew claw removal and tail docking may only be performed by a veterinarian.’ Mandating that these simple procedures only be performed by a veterinarian places more stress and risk on newborn puppies than having the procedure done at home and risks exposure to disease.

4. Added to cruelty to animals, new 5(l), tethering requirements, setting minimum tether length at 10 feet with food, water, shelter required, and no tethering of companion animals less than 6 months of age. This requirement is problematic for hunting dogs being trained in the field. This also eliminates use of short tethers to tie out young dogs on a cable to watch older dogs being trained. In addition this provision eliminates use of short tethers for obedience and behavior training of dogs. Under the proposed ordinance many horses would now be included in the companion animal classification; however no clarification is given for using tie-rings or stall tethers. 

5. Additions to Wild and Exotic Animals definition, including them as inherently dangerous and therefore banned. (a) All primates; (b) Reptiles or amphibians which are venomous or constricting reptiles more than eight (8) feet (currently 10 feet); (c) hybrid dogs and cats. 

The justification given for banning hybrid cats and dogs is based on the fact no rabies vaccines are licensed for use in hybrids. This is a complicated subject and this discussion overlooks the logical aspect of administration and efficiency of rabies vaccinations in hybrids. The proposal to ban hybrids does not take into consideration the fact many hybrids, both dog and cat, can be generations away from the original wild-domestic cross. In a recent survey by the SBA Alliance, over 84% of 2,357 owners responded their cat was F4 or more, meaning at least four generations from the original wild cat parent. In addition, in 1996 Kansas State University ran a study on Bengals who had been vaccinated by rabies and found that 100% had retained immunity based on titers. Kansas State University continues to be part of the process to evaluate antibody test reports. 

Savannahs, Bengals and Chausie, descend from a wild ancestor. According to The International Cat Association (TICA) the Bengal has been the most popular breed for the past several years with 103,593 Bengals registered as of January, 2014. In addition, the Savannah has been the fourth most popular breed in TICA for the past few years with 9,799 Savannahs registered. The Chausie, although not as popular, comes from similar roots as the other two breeds and is also a unique, domestic cat breed, with 1,023 Chausies registered with TICA. Read more on hybrid-derived domestic breeds from TICA

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states in its Animal Welfare regulations, “Crosses between wild animal species and domestic animals, such as dogs and wolves or buffalo and domestic cattle, are considered to be domestic animals.” 

ACTION REQUIRED NOW. Contact the Iredell County Commissioners with objections to the proposed ordinance changes.

James B Mallory III, Chairman
Marvin Norman, Vice Chairman,
Thomas Bowles
Steven "Steve" D. Johnson
Kenneth "Ken" M. Robertson Jr.
Board of Commissioners Phone 704-878-3058

Please share this alert widely. Iredell County residents need to strongly oppose these new provisions.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen’s & Animals Owner’s Voting Alliance (SAOVA)

News Briefs and Updates August 20, 2015

SAOVA Friends,
The Texas Agriculture Law Blog is an outreach project of the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service.  It is specifically focused on water law, oil and gas law, leasing, property rights, right to farm statutes, and animal cruelty issues. The blog provides interesting reading not only on the variety of subjects listed above but others such as the Farm Bill, easements, landowner liability, and the ESA.  Currently the blog is offering a series on how to avoid and survive undercover video investigations.  This three-part series was previously published in Dairy Herd Management magazine. Part 1 covers hiring practices and Part 2 covers farm policies and training practices. The blog can be found at

Thank you for reading. Cross posting is encouraged.

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators

HUMANE WATCH August 13, 2015. When is a “Humane Society” not humane? When it launches a harassment campaign singling out a state senator.

For over a month, Rhode Island State Senator Susan Sosnowksi has endured the bullying of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The radical animal-rights group has taken out full-page ads attacking the Senator, passed around inflammatory fliers in her hometown farmers market, and accused Sosnowski of “doing the bidding of animal abusers.” What is Sosnowski’s offense? She doesn’t support an HSUS bill that creates cumbersome regulations for egg production that would have harmed a family farm in the state. Sosnowski is herself a farmer, so she most of all would understand what’s going on here.

What is particularly unjust about the Humane Society’s harassment is that there appears to be little-to-no evidence this bill would actually improve animal welfare. Rhode Island’s Livestock Welfare & Care Standards Advisory Council said the bill’s requirements are “far in excess of any standard set forth in any state without any evidence to support this increase improves hen welfare.” In fact, the legislation may result in worse conditions for hens with weaker chickens being left unprotected from the pecking of more aggressive chickens in the coop. The bill would also result in higher prices for eggs, and quite possibly lead to diminished food safety. Research published by Oxford Journals found that the safest housing system was a cage system that HSUS opposes.

However, the facts don’t matter to HSUS. Far from trying to improve animal welfare, what this extremist organization cares about is creating burdensome regulations that disrupt farming in every way possible. HSUS’s food policy director has compared farms to Nazi concentration camps and HSUS’s CEO has compared the treatment of animals to slavery. These guys don’t support any kind of egg farm—cage-free, free-range, or otherwise.

For years, animal-rights activists infamously used terror tactics against UCLA’s biomedical researchers. Activists set cars ablaze, placed incendiary devices on researchers’ doorsteps and under their cars, and sent violent threats to others. What HSUS is doing here obviously doesn’t rise to the level of violence, but it’s still disturbing. Is this how HSUS donors would want their money being used, to send some someone to Rhode Island to hassle people at a farmers market? Undoubtedly no.

Since no farm will meet HSUS’s standard of veganism, it appears unlikely that HSUS will stop harassing Senator Sosnowski anytime soon.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is taking its public relations fight against Costco Wholesale to another level. HSUS plans to broadcast graphic footage of hens allegedly being mistreated at a Pennsylvania supplier of eggs to Costco on a 1,700 square-foot billboard in Times Square. The undercover footage was shot at Hillandale Farms as part of a campaign to pressure the retailer to only sell eggs from cage-free hens. More than 300,000 pedestrians enter the heart of Times Square each day, according to the Times Square Alliance, a group that promotes businesses in the area.

HSUS also filed legal complaints with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Hillandale Farms, a Costco egg supplier, deceived consumers with its poor animal welfare standards and “filthy and unsanitary conditions,” resulting in food safety concerns.

Costco’s CEO Craig Jelinek told FOXBusiness that they’re being unfairly targeted. Costco said in a June statement regarding the video that there are "vigorous debates about animal welfare and laying hens." "Some, such as the Humane Society, advocate that hens be cage free and not confined in cages. Some advocate that cages are safer for hens," the statement reads. “Inspections that we have conducted there as recently as this week confirmed for us that Hillandale is behaving appropriately. Hillandale has identified some areas in which it believes it can improve, including process improvement and more training for its employees.”

In the Hillandale Farms statement regarding this video they say that they have had audits by the FDA, United Egg Producers, and the Pennsylvania Egg Quality Assurance Program (PEQAP), all of which report excellent results for this farm. Hillandale provided copies of these reports to ABC after HSUS sent ABC a copy of the video.  “We believe our high standards were compromised by this undercover employee, who shot the video in a barn where he was the primary caretaker, with responsibility to maintain cleanliness in the barns, address any equipment issues and remove mortality on a daily basis. It appears clear that he disregarded required operational procedures and then videotaped the barn and flock with the intent to misrepresent Hillandale Farms. A full internal investigation by our team and by independent outside academic experts in food safety and hen welfare confirmed our belief – that the images in the video reflect an isolated incident in a barn where the undercover worker held primary responsibility. It was his job to identify and address the types of issues that were shown, and he did not adequately perform his job requirements.”
Sources: HSUS website; Food Safety News; Egg-Cite; CBS Interactive

A federal judge last week dismissed an amended lawsuit filed by area pet stores against a Cook County ordinance that limits the sale of animals from large-scale breeders. The ordinance, which was originally set to take effect in October 2014, limits the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in Cook County pet stores to those that come from rescue groups, humane societies, government-run shelters or federally licensed breeders who possessed no more than 5 reproducing female dogs, cats, or rabbits. The ordinance was drafted to allow an incorporated municipality to opt out under home rule powers by passing its own ordinance governing pet shop sales. Plaintiffs, including the Missouri Pet Breeders Association (MPBA) and three Cook County pet shops and their owners, claim that the ordinance is invalid under the U.S. Constitution because it violates the Commerce Clause; the Equal Protection Clause; and that the ordinance is impermissibly vague. Pet shop plaintiffs also alleged violations of the Contract Clause.

The Court found the ordinance is facially neutral, and any disparate impact on out-of-state breeders is indirect and incidental. The Court also found it implausible that the ordinance will affect interstate commerce. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly wrote, “Plaintiffs' Equal Protection Clause and Contract Clause claims, which the Court dismissed in its order dated May 21, 2015, have not changed. Accordingly, the Court reaffirms its dismissal of those claims. (See Mo. Pet Breeders Ass'n, 2015 WL 2448332, at *6–7, *10–11.  In that opinion Judge Kennelly wrote, “The ordinance does not raise equal protection concerns, even if it will not completely solve the problems it was intended to address. Any disparate effect that stems from the distinction between sales by breeders and sales by pet stores is rationally related to the legitimate government interest of limiting the use of mass-breeding facilities.”  Kennelly continued, “Defendants have offered “plausible reasons” justifying the challenged classifications. Id. Lawmakers imposed breeder-size requirements to ensure that pet stores bought animals from small breeders as opposed to inhumane mass-breeding facilities. Because defendants have presented legitimate public interests that support the ordinance, the Court dismisses plaintiffs' Contract Clause claim”.)

Citizens for Farm Animal Protection has announced a new ballot initiative in Massachusetts to curb extreme confinement of breeding pigs, veal calves, and egg-laying hens. The coalition includes the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), United Farm Workers, Center for Food Safety, veterinarians and others. Although confining-cage practices are virtually non-existent in Massachusetts, supporters claim a ban will prevent them in the future. While previous ballot measures backed by HSUS in other states limited the ways farmers can produce meat and eggs, the Massachusetts measure also targets what products businesses here can sell.  The measure is opposed by agricultural groups and the food industry who say a ban is costly and unnecessary, if not unconstitutional. The ballot question must first be certified by the attorney general. Once approved, the coalition must collect more than 90,000 signatures in order to qualify this proposal for the 2016 statewide ballot.

Agri-Pulse August 18, 2015. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named 19 members of his Advisory Committee on Animal Health that will serve through June 2017. The panel, which is supposed to represent “a broad range” of groups within agriculture, includes a veterinarian from the National Pork Producer Council, several academics and livestock producers as well as the director of veterinary policy with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an animal welfare group that is widely unpopular in some circles of the agriculture industry.

In a 2012 interview posted on the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association website, the HSUS vet, Michael Blackwell, called HSUS “the most capable organization to influence our direction as a society.” When asked to name his top priority issue, he pointed to the health of food animals “especially as that is threatened by mechanized and industrial systems” that he said “can and do threaten public health and environmental safety.” Agriculture groups have criticized HSUS for its tactic of engaging in lawsuits to force producers and producer groups to spend money on legal fees and for helping to create legislation perceived by some as harmful to agriculture, such as the California egg law, which increased the space allocated in cages for every egg-laying chicken in the state.  Continue reading:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Attitude Of The Heart: The Horses Can Take Us There.

Another lovely and moving essay by Jon Katz, Bedlam Farm blog

The war against the carriage horses in New York has faltered, for now, it is far from over.  Everywhere, the animals are under siege, they are trying to take them away from us, they are persecuting us for loving and working with them. We see in the long and brutal campaign to ban the horses that money does not innoculate anyone against ignorance and cruelty,  and that people who say they love animals can be inexcusably abusive to people.

The mayor of New York has not retracted his vow to banish the horses,  or his claim that the people who ride with them are immoral, nor have the real estate developers stopped drooling and plotting over their stables. The people in the carriage trade continue to live in fear and persecution, the horses remain in peril from the people who would destroy them to save them.

A compassionate and progressive city could easily find a way to keep them safe and healthy in New York – that would be a minor achieivement compared to the building of Central Park –   but the so-called progressives there have not yet figured out that preserving the horses and the environment in the city's fabled park, it's soul,  is, in fact, the most progressive thing they could possibly do.

Despite staggering odds, the horses triumphed, they triggered a great social awakening across the country: we see the need a new kind of animal rights movement, one that keeps animals among us and treats animals and people with love, respect and dignity. Continue Reading

Sunday, August 9, 2015

When Does Animal Rights Activism Become Extremism?

Wednesday, Aug 5 2015 Comments (14)
On July 28, the FBI arrested Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, two Oakland-based animal rights activists accused of releasing thousands of mink from fur farms during multiple cross-country sprees in 2013. The couple were also charged with vandalizing property owned by the meat and fur industries, including, allegedly, a meat distributor truck in San Francisco.

"To free animals from enslavement you have to break minor laws," says Will Hazlitt, a press officer who disseminates communiques from underground animal rights groups such as Animal Liberation Front. "Calling this terrorism is ridiculous. Is cutting a fence terrorism?"

Yes — at least in the eyes of the U.S. government. Buddenberg and Kissane were indicted under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law introduced by Republican Sen. James Inhofe and Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein in 2006. The AETA prohibits people from engaging in activities "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise."
Continue reading . .

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Animal Rights National Conference: We Went So You Don’t Have To

This weekend, HumaneWatch bravely waded into the belly of the beast: We attended the annual Animal Rights National Conference—undercover, of course. For three days, our researchers selflessly abstained from basic hygiene and survived (read: starved) on a tasteless vegan buffet to blend in with the crowd of hemp-clad animal rights activists.

Well, OK, maybe it was pleather-clad activists.

We feigned interest—and kept a straight face—during group discussions staler (and stranger) than freezer-burned tofurkey. Topics included a very serious conversation about why vegan activists have a responsibility to replace their entire closet with animal rights slogan t-shirts.  Academy Award nominations are a few months away, but we’re hopeful we’ll get a nod.

So what didn’t you miss? Here’s an inside look at the latest schemes and delusions peddled by HSUS and its radical activist cohorts.

Let’s start with the speakers. HSUS representatives joined a not-so-prestigious roster of presenters, with the acclaimed line-up including: Nick Cooney (a convicted criminal with the radical Mercy for Animals), the head of “Fish Feel” (a half-baked organization as ridiculous as it sounds) and Ethan Wolf, president of the Sea Shepard Conservation Society (a group that fancies themselves pirates and has the criminal charges to prove it).

The next time HSUS tries to act like it’s a friend of agriculture or food companies, look no further than the company it keeps.

The content of the conference presentations was exactly what you might expect from an event billed as the Super Bowl (minus the pigskin) for animal rights fanatics. Speakers attempted to make grossly inaccurate and insensitive comparisons likening the treatment of animals to the treatment of African American slaves, Holocaust victims, and gay and lesbian Americans.

Straight from the HSUS playbook, VP Paul Shapiro used cute pictures of pet puppies in his presentation—a strange choice for a talk on farm animals. But then again, HSUS uses lots of pictures of dogs and cats to raise money to attack farmers, so maybe it made sense.

Conference content also included accusations and insults thrown at us, which we take to mean that we’re doing an effective job.

Newkirk has said plenty of batty stuff over the years, but she had a new line this year: “Not to be for animal rights is to be a racist.” (Right.) She also gave us a sneak peak of what life might look like if the vegans had things their way, explaining: “Sometimes on the talk shows, some hosts will usually say… ‘If you ruled the world, would it be against the law to eat a hamburger?’ Yes, yes it would.”
Luckily for those of us who enjoy ice cream or a steak, a vegan future is nowhere in sight.
Attendees at the event this weekend probably feel otherwise: The Animal Rights National Conferences is a pep rally designed to “recharge the batteries” of activists by convincing them the vegan movement is winning. But when consumers are eating a billion chicken wings during the Super Bowl, the celebration of imminent vegan triumph is laughably off-base.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

News Briefs and Updates August 6, 2015

 SAOVA Friends,

Chimps are still property and not legal persons. Last week New York Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe rejected a claim that two chimpanzees in a New York research laboratory have a right to bodily liberty. The Nonhuman Rights Project had filed a petition for the two chimps, Hercules and Leo, for a writ of habeas corpus freeing them from unlawful imprisonment.  In her decision, Jaffe stated, "some day [such campaigns] may even succeed," because the status of "legal person" doesn't necessarily equal "human being." But for now, she said, she has to follow precedent set in a case from December, when another New York judge upheld the longstanding principle that "legal persons" have duties and responsibilities to go along with rights — duties and responsibilities that chimps can't perform.

The chimpanzees at the center of the case will no longer be used for research. A spokeswoman for Stony Brook told reporters that the research project had concluded several weeks ago and the chimps would no longer be used for any research at the university. She said the court ruling did not impact the timing of the animals' retirement.

Following Judge Jaffe’s ruling, Steven Wise posted, “That’s one small step for a judge, one giant leap for the Nonhuman Rights Project in its fight for the fundamental rights of nonhuman animals. The Nonhuman Rights Project is greatly encouraged by Judge Jaffe’s opinion. However, we intend to appeal her judgment to the First Department and then, if required, go again to the Court of Appeals.”

Thank you for reading. Cross posting is encouraged.

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators

In a letter to US Fish and Wildlife Services Director Dan Ashe, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) asked that the bird be removed from its listing under the ESA in the wake of a recent report that suggests the species is rebounding.  A recent aerial survey by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Association found an estimated 29,162 lesser prairie chickens, an increase from 19,643 in 2013 and 23,363 in 2014. The Fish and Wildlife Service has said the “threatened” listing last year was the result of a steep decline in the bird’s population in recent years. Five states are home to the lesser prairie chicken: Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

“Strong evidence exists indicating the dramatic rise in the lesser prairie chicken’s population can primarily be accounted for by increased rainfall in the habitat area,” Moran wrote. Moran also cited conservation efforts by local officials in the lesser prairie chicken’s habitat area for the population rebound.

The Kansas congressional delegation helped pass an amendment to the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, H.R. 2822, on July 7. That bill could be voted on after Congress returns from its August recess in early September. In June the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Moran amendment that would bar enforcement of the listing, attaching it to a $30 billion measure to fund the Department of the Interior and Environmental Protection Agency.

July 30, 2015 Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to examine the federal and state response to avian influenza.  Identified as one of the worst animal disease outbreaks the U.S. has ever experienced, the disease infected more than 220 farms in 21 states. As a result, nearly 48 million chickens and turkeys have been depopulated and millions of dollars have been spent to aid in response efforts. Members heard from representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state officials who have taken part in the response effort and discussed the successes and challenges of the process.

“The impact of the avian influenza outbreak has been devastating, and it is essential that we learn from the outbreak this past spring and put in place the proper steps to minimize the impact of a possible outbreak in the Southeast when the temperatures decrease this fall. Today, we heard what was done right during the response and where there are still opportunities for improvement. As we continue our oversight, we will certainly consider any suggestions to modify our policies in order to expedite and improve the efficacy of our animal disease response capabilities. I want to thank our witnesses for testifying today and for providing their insight on this very important issue,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rouzer.

“The outbreak of this highly pathogenic disease is one of the worst we have ever seen in the U.S. It is absolutely vital that USDA and vulnerable states are prepared to respond quickly if this outbreak returns in the fall, as is expected. Both USDA and the states have put forth great effort to isolate this disease and mitigate loss these past few months, and I thank them for their hard work,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by witnesses from the hearing and the archived webcast can be found at this link

A federal judge ruled Monday that an Idaho law making it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities violates the right to free speech. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Monday that the statute violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments, marking the first time a court has declared such a law unconstitutional. Six other states have similar rules, including Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah.

Lawmakers in 2014 passed the statute — dubbed the ag-gag law — after Mercy for Animals, a Los Angeles-based animal-rights group, released a video showing workers at Bettencourt Dairies in Hansen abusing the cows. A coalition of nonprofit groups sued, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho and Center for Food Safety, claiming the law criminalizes whistleblowing and violates freedom of speech.

“The effect of the statute will be to suppress speech by undercover investigators and whistleblowers concerning topics of great public importance: the safety of the public food supply, the safety of agricultural workers, the treatment and health of farm animals, and the impact of business activities on the environment. Indeed, private party media investigations, such as investigative features on 60 Minutes, are a common form of politically salient speech.” U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote in his 29-page ruling.

ALDF’s complaint also challenged the state’s violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Judge Winmill wrote, “ALDF has come forward with abundant evidence that the law was enacted with the discriminatory purpose of silencing animal rights activists who conduct undercover investigations in the agricultural industry. Under the Equal Protection Clause, not to mention the First Amendment itself, government may not grant the use of a forum to people whose views it finds acceptable, but deny use to those wishing to express less favored or more controversial views.” (Mosley, 408 U.S. at 96). Although the State may not agree with the message certain groups seek to convey about Idaho’s agricultural production facilities, such as releasing secretly recorded videos of animal abuse to the Internet and calling for boycotts, it cannot deny such groups equal protection of the laws in their exercise of their right to free speech. Far from being tailored to a substantial governmental interest, § 18-7042 classifies activities protected by the First Amendment based on content. Therefore, under the Equal Protection Clause, it cannot stand.”
Sources:  Idaho Statesman ; Agri-Pulse ;
Case No. 1:14-cv-00104-BLW Memorandum Decision And Order

A federal court has upheld a city of Phoenix ordinance banning retail sales of dogs and cats in stores unless the pets come from animal shelters or nonprofit rescues. Puppies ‘N Love, which has a store at Paradise Valley Mall and other Arizona locations, sued the city arguing the 2013 ordinance was unfair and violated the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In his opinion, U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell wrote, “Puppies ‘N Love appears to be an exemplary pet store. The store avoids buying from puppy mills and works hard to ensure that its puppies have been raised in a humane and caring environment. No doubt, the burden of the Ordinance will fall hard on the Puppies ‘N Love store in Phoenix. But the Court’s place is not to judge the wisdom or fairness of the City’s decision to pass the Ordinance. Rather, the Court may judge only whether the Ordinance conflicts with the constitutional provisions Plaintiffs have cited. There being no conflict between the Ordinance and the United States and Arizona Constitutions, the Court must uphold the Ordinance and grant summary judgment for the Defendant City of Phoenix and the HSUS.”

Maureen Beyers, a Phoenix attorney representing the Humane Society of the United States in the case, welcomed the ruling. “The ruling is a great victory, not just for the city of Phoenix, but also for the Humane Society of the United States, which has worked tirelessly to help municipalities throughout the U.S. enact these laws (and defend challenges to them) to stem the trade of puppy and kitten mill animals and decrease animal euthanasia and overpopulation,” said Beyers, one of the Osborn Maledon attorneys who worked on the case.