LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - UPDATE NOV. 15 6:30 P.M.: The City Council has voted to repeal an ordinance that would require pet stores to solely sell animals from rescues or shelters.
The decision came after almost 2 hours of public comment on the ordinance Wednesday.
Many people spoke in favor of keeping the ordinance, which would have prevented pet shops from buying from breeders that could have potentially been running puppy mills.
"It's important to me because there are so many animals that can't find homes," said animal advocate Don Knetzger.
City council voted 4-3 to repeal the ordinance, which was in favor of pet shops like Petland in Boca Park.
"We are pet lovers, but we just believe customers have a choice," owner Jeff Faucett said.
The ordinance would have put two local pet shops, Petland and Puppy Boutique, in jeopardy of shutting down.
Several people accused both pet stores of buying animals from puppy mill breeders, but Animal Controlcountered their claims. According to Animal Control, Petland has received complaints, but all were unfounded and Puppy Boutique has received several corrections, but have never been cited.
Faucett hopes he can reassure animal advocates that although there will be no ordinance, he still does not support puppy mill breeders.
"Once I meet a breeder then I form an opinion about them before I buy," Faucett said. "I don't buy from puppy mill breeders."
Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who did vote in favor of repealing the ordinance, said she hopes to start a committee that could introduce a new ban that would be in favor of both pet shops and animal advocates.
UPDATE ON NOV. 15: On Wednesday, the city is set to revisit a controversial issue: whether or not pet stores in Las Vegas should only sell dogs from shelters and rescue groups.
The city made the decision last year, but could overturn it.
Protestors and animal rights advocates will be outside the city council meeting, hoping members vote to keep the ban.
Those against the ban say if pet stores in the city were only allowed to sell rescue pets, it would be hard for them to compete with other stores across the valley.
Las Vegas City Council is considering overturning an ordinance set to take effect in January that was aimed at targeting puppy mills.
The ordinance would require pet stores to only sell dogs, cats, and pot-bellied pigs from shelters and rescue groups, not breeders.
Supporters argue that would help alleviate overcrowded shelters and provide more accountability for breeders and avoid inhumane conditions.
The measure passed at the time in a close vote, but now the new council could tip the balance in repealing it.
That fourth vote could be Ward 6 Councilwoman Michele Fiore, who says she wants the ordinance repealed.
Fiore says the ordinance won't help stop puppy mills, and instead goes too far in creating an unfriendly business environment in the city.
She says it would unfairly punish legitimate breeders like who ones who sold Fiore her own English mastiffs. "I had to go all the way to Denver, Colorado to buy my English Mastiffs," she says. "Why would I want to put anyone else through that."
Fiore's position puts her at odds with animal advocates who fought for the city ordinance.
Fiore says she expects the council to vote on repealing the ordinance before its deadline to take effect on January 18th.