Ann Arbor, MI (June 9, 2023) – The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) applauds Ann Arbor City Council for considering a ban on pet stores and is grateful to the ordinance sponsors Councilmembers Dharma Akmon, Jenn Cornell, Cynthia Harrison, and Ayesha Ghazi Edwin for putting forth a compassionate proposal.

It is well-known that commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy and kitten mills, are incredibly cruel, creating unnecessary suffering and financial and emotional hardship on unsuspecting consumers who often deal with lingering health problems.

This ordinance is an important safeguard preventing a pet store from ever opening in Ann Arbor and helping ensure that pets come to us only by way of humane practices—through nonprofit adoption agencies like HSHV and responsible breeders. In addition to dogs and cats, this model ordinance seeks to protect rabbits, ferrets, long-lived birds, and large reptiles (animals derived through cruel means and more likely to be sold to individuals unprepared for their care).

The ordinance also prohibits pet sales on the roadside and in parking lots, or at swap meets, flea markets, or other outdoor or off-site events.

The regulations don’t impact responsible breeders. And most independent pet stores and industry chains have already shunned these cruel industries—no longer selling dogs and cats, and instead focusing their business model on pet supplies and services, and helping rescue organizations with adoptions.

“We’ve known about the cruel practices of puppy mills for many years but we’ve failed to act as a nation to end this nightmare for our best friends,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s CEO. “Unfortunately, many still don’t realize that buying from a pet store or online dealer is inadvertently supporting cruelty. Pet stores are part of the lifeblood that keeps the ruthless puppy mill industry alive. Laws and ordinances at the local and state level can make a big difference in stemming the industry.”

“Most Ann Arborites think of their pets as family. They want us to do everything possible to protect them from unnecessary harm. This important measure will help protect animals and consumers from cruel breeders and irresponsible retailers,” Hilgendorf says.


About The Humane Society of Huron Valley:

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website( on our annual report(