Petland Dallas filed a lawsuit against the City of Dallas challenging the city’s recent decision to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. The store at Preston Road and Forest Lane is the only pet store in Dallas that sells dogs and cats.
The lawsuit, filed by D&J Pets (the Dallas franchise’s company owned by Jay Suk) alleged the ordinance discriminated against the store and violates the Texas Constitution.
“This Ordinance is unreasonably burdensome as applied to Petland Dallas because it wholly prevents Petland Dallas from continuing its core business of selling puppies and kittens and would therefore put Petland Dallas out of business,” the lawsuit read.
The ordinance allows for a penalty of up to $500 for violations and is set to take effect in November. Other major Texas cities, including Austin, College Station, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Sherman, and Waco, have passed similar ordinances, per the Texas Humane Legislation Network, which advocates for the ordinances to prevent the sale of dogs and cats from breeding mills.
“Since January 2021, we have been working tirelessly to pass this Ordinance to close the puppy mill pipeline to Dallas to stop hundreds of sick puppies from being shipped from out-of-state puppy mills,” said Stacy Sutton Kerby, director of government relations at Texas Humane Legislation Network in a statement when the ordinance was passed.
The lawsuit, though, says the “Ordinance will not stop the sale of puppies originating from substandard breeders because it does not target substandard breeders … The Ordinance does not address the sourcing of puppies — where puppies are bred and under what conditions,” and that the store, which has 30 employees, “only obtains puppies from reputable breeders that hold licenses from the United States Department of Agriculture, and Petland Dallas requires breeders to comply with all federal, state, and local laws.”
Puppy and kitten sales account for more than 80% of Petland Dallas’ annual revenue, according to the lawsuit. In its 13 years in business, Petland Dallas sold more than 15,000 dogs and cats to about 12,000 Dallas families, according to court documents.
The store also said in the lawsuit that it has offered to discuss its operations with members of the Dallas City Council “and remains ready and willing to discuss additional common-sense regulations.”