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Pet Shops

Little Shops of Sorrows

With the exception of wild or exotic animals, animals housed in retail pet facilities are not afforded protection by the Animal Welfare Act, federal legislation first enacted in 1966 to provide humane treatment standards for some animals. In the absence of federal regulation, 27 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. have enacted laws which establish some form of humane care standards for animals kept at pet shops. The quality and the scope of these laws vary from state to state.

Born Free USA actively participates in community programs to improve the plight of animals in pet shops. After conducting extensive research and developing expertise in this area, we have drafted model pet shop legislation. We are happy to work with you on this important issue. Contact us to find out how to strengthen the law in your state.

Using our nationally recognized expertise, we have also prepared model legislation restricting the sale of unweaned birds at pet shops and bird marts. If you have any questions regarding any of our model legislation, please contact us.

Helping Animals Housed In Pet Shops

  • Ask your local pet shop not to sell live animals.
  • Support pet shops that do not sell live animals.
  • If you observe inhumane care of any animal in a pet shop, ask the pet shop management to provide adequate care for the animals in their custody.
  • Write a letter to politely urge the pet shops in your area to stop selling live animals.
  • Report any inhumane conditions observed at a pet shop to the appropriate animal control agency.
  • Report any inhumane conditions observed at a pet shop to the appropriate local business bureau or consumer affairs agency.
  • Contact your state senator or representative or local city or county council member and ask him to enact legislation that will protect animals in pet shops from inhumane conditions.
  • Support legislation on all levels which enhances the humane treatment of animals.
  • For more, see the results of our investigation into the abuse of animals in pet shops, Little Shops of Sorrows.

Reporting Pet Store Abuse

We participate in the Avian Welfare Coalition's "Pet Store Watch" by collecting and forwarding complaints to the top representatives responsible for animal care. To report poor pet store conditions, visit the Avian Welfare Coalition's "Pet Store Watch" webpage.