Any pet stores that open in the city are now prohibited from selling puppies, kittens, and bunnies.

IBerkshires reports thatThe City Council on Tuesday passed to a second reading an ordinance designed largely to prevent the sale of dogs from puppy mills in local pet shops as well as cats and rabbits.

The measure was introduced by City Councilor Marie T. Harpin in October but was put on hold as the attorney general's office reviewed similar bylaws and ordinances passed last year to see if they conflicted with state language. The ordinance had gendered significant support but the General Government Committee had wanted to wait to ensure it would not have to be amended.

The attorney general did largely approve the language with a couple of exceptions. Several councilors had raised as possibly preventing home breeders was considered appropriate.

Both Harpin and committee Chairwoman Lisa Blackmer said they had received numerous calls supporting the measure.

Harpin said.

"However, there was some language regarding the seizure of the animals if there was an issue. And that language needed to be changed in our ordinance, it was something that we were unaware of prior to this referring to the summary provided by the attorney for the Humane Society. That language around "pet store" was also made so it was easier to understand"

Hagan of the Humane Society of the United States explained on Tuesday.

"The attorney general found that there was not a conflict, that the bylaw, which is similar to what is before North Adams Council, did not in any way prevent the state from regulating pet shops or shelters, and that pet shops and shelters were still required to meet state law," The attorney general found that localities are not allowed to seize animals, they do not have that remedy available to them, they are allowed to issue the fine."

It would ban sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores but would allow for the display of these animals for adoption from a public animal control agency, shelter, or rescue organization. It would also prevent sales and barters of these animals on the street, parking lots, flea markets, or other markets except in those cases of adoption or as part of an agricultural fair or 4-H program. Any animal rescue, shelter, or public pound would not be considered a pet shop.

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