Ban Bellevue 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 intern with the Seattle Humane Society. This summer, my fellow intern 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. We want to combat these cruel institutions beginning in our home, Bellevue, Washington, by banning pet stores from selling animals not sourced from shelters.

Following in California and Maryland's example, we want the King County Council to pass an ordinance making the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits not sourced from a shelter or rescue illegal for pet stores. This would ban this practice in Bellevue, Redmond, and other cities that have chosen to mirror county law. The name of the partner organization would have to be clearly visible for those seeking to adopt a pet. Our proposal also forbids the sale of these animals if they are under 8 weeks of age, where they are exceptionally vulnerable and unprepared to leave their mothers.

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.