CARMEL — A Carmel City Councilor has proposed amendments to the city’s ordinance that would prohibit pet stores from selling cats or dogs within the city’s limits.
Councilor Adam Aasen is proposing the change because many pet stores that sell cats and dogs obtain their inventory from unlicensed puppy mills, many of which are out of state.
Aasen said it is the next step for the city in protecting animals.
"The Carmel City Council has already prohibited puppy mills from operating in our city limits and we already prohibited pet stores from sourcing their animals from puppy mills," Aasen said. "This simple change takes the next step to protect animals and discourage abuse and mistreatment. This law would be actually easier for our city to enforce because we wouldn't have to track down where the animals are obtained from, which can often be out of state."
The new policy would not prevent pet stores from collaborating with animal care facilities or rescue organizations to offer space to showcase adoptable cats or dogs.
Aasen said no pet stores in Carmel currently sell cats or dogs and so no existing businesses would have to change their practices. While the problem doesn't currently exist in Carmel, Aasen said the city has a history of being proactive rather than reactive.
"These stores do exist on our city's borders in neighboring municipalities and so this fear isn't unfounded," Aasen said. "By making this change, we can prevent a problem before it happens."
Fines could be up to $2,500 per offense. Multiple violations could lead the City of Carmel to seek an injunction to shut the business down.
Several other communities in Indiana have similar laws in place, including Bloomington, Columbus, Crown Point, Dyer, Munster and Whiting.