INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis City-County Council has passed a ban that prohibits local pet stores from selling cats, dogs and rabbits.

Proposal 57, which prohibits pet stores in Indy from selling common pet animals, was passed on Monday night by the city-county council.

“The proposal will encourage constituents to adopt from animal shelters, encourage pet stores to partner with shelters and rescues to adopt out, and protect consumers,” the council said in a news release.

The proposal, which was co-sponsored by Councillors John Barth, Zach Adamson, Dan Boots, Jason Larrison and Ali Brown, says that existing pet stores will have 2 years to transition to a new business model. According to a release, “that can include the option of continuing to sell animals that are sourced from Animal Care Services or rescue organizations”. 

“With the passage of Proposal 57, Indianapolis joins over 440 localities, including 13 Indiana cities in halting the sale of commercially raised dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores,” said Councillor John Barth, District 7. “With this initiative, our city will join an effort that has already shrunk the demand for puppy mills and will ease the burden on Animal Care Services.”  

According to the council, local animal welfare originations that signed a letter of support for Proposal 57 include Indy Humane, Friends of Indy Animals, Guardian Angel Bassett rescue, Love of Labs Indiana, Medical Mutts, Golden Retriever Rescue, Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, FACE Low-Cost Clinic and Indiana House Rabbit Society.  

“This proposal has been a long time coming,” said Council Vice President Zach Adamson. “It represents years of planning and coordinating with constituents, non-profit animal welfare groups, and discussions with pet stores.”  

Last month, the Indiana State Senate passed a bill to block local bans on dog sales in pet stores such as this one.

The bill passed the Senate 29-18, with some Republicans joining Democrats in voting against the bill. It now heads to the House for consideration.