Puppy store arrests renew calls for a ban

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - In the view of Billy Howard, the issue of retail stores selling puppies is simple.

Billy Howard of puppymillfreereno.com

"There really is never a good puppy store."

Howard, who heads puppymillfreereno.com, says he's been trying to make that case for years and he can show you evidence that a lot of people agree with him. He says his petitions seeking a ban on retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits contain the signatures of 20,000 local residents.

He gathered them a few years ago to urge local governments to adopt such a ban. No action was taken back then, but now, with the felony charges against Michael and Leilani Schneider once again focusing public attention on the issue, he's making the case again.

The problem he says is where the animals come from--commonly believed to be puppy mills where dogs are bred commercially with little regard to the outcome.

"There are so many problems that come with these animals because they are raised in the most reprehensible conditions imaginable."

A former employee of Puppies Plus told us earlier this week the little dogs often arrive or become sick and aren't given veterinary care and are sometimes sold that way.

Howard says he's puzzled that the store remains open and worried about conditions inside.

"Even if there's the accusation it's handed down by a grand jury which is an extremely serious matter those animals should be taken out of that purview and handed to people who are more competent to handle those animals' care."

So, he's once again pressing his call for a ban, asking supporters to sign his online petition and show up at next Wednesday's city council meeting.

"We're asking people come and say, please do what we've asked for years with such community support, please pass a ban to end the sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores in the city of Reno."

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