No retail pet sales in Austin



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Posted on July 14, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 15 at 10:24 AM

Wednesday evening, with a unanimous vote, the City of Austin took one more step to becoming a no-kill city when it comes to animal shelters.

The Austin Animal Advisory Commission approved a proposal to ask the Austin City Council to create a ban on the retail sales of companion animals like kittens and puppies at stores.

The only store in Austin selling kittens and puppies is Petland in South Austin. Now, the Southpark Meadows store will close its doors for good on Sunday, July 18.

"You know it's going to be inevitable. There's no point in just prolonging this, the store is going to eventually have to close down," said Ben Guerra, the manager at Petland.

"We've tried to implement this no kill plan but we're not there yet, we are not no kill, we're working on it. We've got a lot of work to do. It's going to be an 18-month to two year process," added Lundstedt.

"The people that are protesting are trying to say this is a victory. How is it a victory when 19 people of our staff are being left without jobs?" questioned Guerra.

The Austin City Council is expected to tackle the issue between now and October.

The Animal Advisory Commission says that Petland was buying animals from puppy mills across the country and selling them in Austin without them being spayed or neutered, an accusation Ben Guerra denied.

"Every time animals go into the Town Lake Animal Center and have to be killed, that's tax dollars that don't have to be spent," said David Lundstedt, a member of the Austin Animal Advisory Commission.

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