FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It took a preliminary injunction, a lawsuit, and a newly passed state law for a Fayetteville ordinance —which never went into effect— to be shut down.
“To get as far as we did, I’m sorry it’s all getting undone so quickly," said Fayetteville City Council Member Sonia Harvey. "At the end of the day really, it’s about the welfare of the animal. So, that’s really what we care about.”
“The City of Fayetteville has no choice but to amend section 94.04 (C) to conform with the newly passed Act 730 of 2023,” said Kit Williams, Fayetteville city attorney. “Because after Act 730 was passed, it changed the law.”
Act 730 says that local cities can no longer pass rules to ban pet stores from getting or selling animals from kennels or breeders.
"For the last 32 years, retail pet stores have been under-regulated by the state of Arkansas rather than the local level," said District 69 Republican State Rep. David Ray said during an April interview with 5NEWS. "That's never been a problem until last year"
Last July, the Fayetteville City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that bans the retail sale of dogs and cats unless they come from a shelter or rescue center.
“To prohibit pet stores in Fayetteville selling puppies produced by mass breeding operations that treat animals like livestock rather than pets,” Williams said.
Williams said Fayetteville’s new ordinance states that “a retail pet store shall only be allowed to sell a puppy or kitten if it has been acquired from a category kennel or dealer."
Act 730 would not go into effect until July. Williams said the city should move forward by replacing the ordinance to match the new law.
5NEWS did reach out to Petland Fayetteville’s attorney. However, he said the company won't comment because of the current lawsuit.
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