Ban Washington State Pet Stores from Selling from Puppy and Kitten Mills

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My name is Novia Liu, and I am a high school student in Bellevue, Washington and a teen volunteer with the Seattle Humane Society. For the past two summers, my fellow volunteer Ava Finn and I have been working on an animal welfare project to advocate for change in our neighborhood. 

Every year, millions of puppies and kittens are inhumanely bred in mills across the United States. These puppy and kitten mills neglect the needs of their animals, only aiming to turn a profit while showing no regard for safety. Mothers carry litter after litter, and their offspring are prematurely ripped away from them. Through the internet and pet stores, helpless, emotionally and medically ill animals are sold to the public, and the mills receive enough monetary support to continue. 

In Washington State, facilities containing upwards of 400 dogs have been discovered, their animals barely clinging to life. The problem, however, does not end here. Countless more innocent dogs and cats are funneled in from out of state mills into pet stores, circumventing state law and blindsiding adopters. We want to combat these cruel institutions beginning in our home of Washington State by banning pet stores from selling animals not sourced from shelters.

Following in California and Maryland's example, we want the Washington State Legislature to pass an ordinance making the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits not sourced from a shelter or rescue illegal for pet stores. The name of the partner organization would have to be clearly visible for those seeking to adopt a pet, and all animals would be required to have undergone spay/neuter surgery prior to going home. 

By doing so, mills will be unable to sell their animals to pet stores, restricting their scope and preventing their continuation. It is essential that we close the channel between puppy/kitten mills and the public to save these animals from inhumane breeding and their offspring from being mere profits. This proposal's necessity is beyond legal precedent; it has the power to save lives.