Boston bans commercially bred animals in pet stores

By Andrew Ryan Globe Staff  March 02, 2016

The Boston City Council unanimously approved a ban Wednesday on pet stores selling dogs, cats, or rabbits from commercial breeders in an attempt to prevent the sale of animals bred in unsafe conditions.

The ordinance, dubbed the “puppy mill bill,” was signed into law by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and will apply to stores in Boston, according to an administration spokeswoman, Bonnie McGilpin.

There are no pet stores in the city that sell puppies or kittens from commercial breeders, according to Councilor Matt O’Malley of Jamaica Plain, who proposed the initiative. But at least one chain of pet stores that sells commercially bred animals wanted to expand in the city, O’Malley said.

“This is a very important piece of legislation that goes after the inhumane factories known as puppy mills,” O’Malley said. “It will also prohibit the sale of dogs on the street corner or in parking lots.”

A similar ban has been enacted in more than 120 other cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles, O’Malley said. In Boston, pet shops can still work with animal shelters or rescue agencies to help customers adopt pets. People can also purchase animals directly from breeders.

The ordinance will make one exception, for Jim Gentile, owner of the Pet Shop in Allston. Gentile will be allowed to continue breeding rabbits until 2017. He did not immediately return a phone message Wednesday seeking comment.

Last month, Gentile told the Globe the ban would “drive a business out of the city of Boston.”

“The reason I’ve been around [so long] is that I sell animals, and I’m good at it,” said Gentile, who has owned the shop 41 years.

Animal rights activists hailed the vote as a victory.

“We’re really excited that Boston continues to be a leader in animal protection,” said Kara Holmquist, director of advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Andrew Ryan can be reached at

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O’Malley Proposes Ban on Sales of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits in Boston Pet Stores

By: DAVID ERTISCHEK | 02/21/16

On Monday Jamaica Plain's City Councilor Matt O’Malley will announce a city ordinance dubbed “the puppy mill bill” that would prohibit pet shops in Boston from selling dogs, cats or rabbits, as well as banning animal sales in public parks and on city streets.

O’Malley will make the announcement at the MSPCA-Angell in Jamaica Plain. “I am proud to introduce this ordinance that will not only protect animals, but seeks to prevent financial and emotional costs to the city and its residents, and demonstrate that it is important for Boston foster a more humane environment in the city," said O’Malley through a press release.

If the ordinance becomes Boston law, the city would join more than 120 municipalities across the country that banned the sale of commercially bred cats and dogs from pet shops. Oftentimes these puppies and kittens come from large-scale breeding facilities, many of which have multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

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Lowell City Council to bring pit-bull muzzle law to public hearing

By Lyle Moran,
Posted: 05/25/2011 11:04:10 AM EDT

LOWELL -- After months of debate, the City Council voted last night to forward to a public hearing a pit-bull muzzle law that provides exemptions for dogs that go through training programs.

The ordinance, crafted by the city's Law Department after several public-safety subcommittee and Animal Advisory Committee meetings, could be voted on as soon June 14, when the public hearing takes place.

City Attorney David Fenton modeled the ordinance after muzzle laws already in place in Boston and Worcester.

The ordinance requires that all pit bulls that don't go through certified training programs must be on a leash and wearing a muzzle when not on their owner's property. Pit bulls also do not have to wear a muzzle when off their owner's property if they are in a secure enclosure, such as a dog crate.

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Discussions ongoing for new Medford spay, neuter ordinance

Click here to download AKC Letter to Medford City Council

By Vladimir Shvorin/
Medford Transcript
Posted Feb 17, 2011 - 12:00 PM

Medford officials and animal activists are currently attempting to iron out the logistics behind a spay and neuter ordinance for Medford’s pets.

Following a Medford City Council Committee of the Whole meeting on Feb. 8, the issue was tabled for further discussions on some of the major hurdles relating to a potential ordinance.

The issue was first raised approximately a year ago, when Marie Mazzeo, founder of Kitty Connection, approached the City Council with the idea. The issue has made little progress since then, until it was given new life at a Jan. 28 meeting.

Support for animal population control seems to be unanimous in the city, but the tripping point remains the implementation and policing of such a law.

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Medford considers spay, neuter requirement for pets

By Vladimir Shvorin/
Medford Transcript
Posted Feb 03, 2011 - 02:00 PM

Medford officials and local activists are putting forth their strongest effort yet to require all animals in Medford to be spayed or neutered. But questions surrounding enforcement of a potential ordinance make the regulation’s bark seem louder than its bite.

“There are definitely public health issues involved here,” said Karen Rose, director of public health in Medford. “Everybody needs to have their animals rabies vaccinated and I honestly believe that we have a lot of work to do on the ordinance itself. My biggest concern is that we are creating an ordinance to make people feel good, but we can’t enforce it. There’s one animal control officer for a city of 56,000. He’s alone and he’s busy all day, every day.”

The ordinance currently states that owners of cats or dogs will need to pay a $60 fee, per animal, if they choose not to spay or neuter. This breeder’s license would also require proof of rabies immunization shots.

A violation of the ordinance would result in a $50 fine, which could be waived the requirements of the regulation are met within 30 days.

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