A pet store chain wants to set up shop in Boston. Boston isn't having it.

There are up to 10,000 puppy mills across the U.S.

That's more than enough to keep an animal lover awake at night.

Have you heard about these places? They're overcrowded and operate largely under the radar. Careless breeding practices means generations of dogs with health defects are born into unsanitary conditions, and female dogs are overbred and often killed once they are no longer of use, according to the ASPCA.


Poppy, an adorable contestant in the 2007 "World's Ugliest Dog" competition, had been rescued from a puppy mill and adopted, like many of her competitors. We love you, Poppy! Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images.

These places are sickening, to say the least.

The City of Boston has had enough — enough to take legal action, that is.

Currently, no pet stores in Boston sell animals from commercial breeders (go Boston!), but a pet store chain had plans to make its way into the city limits.

On March 2, 2016, Boston's city council unanimously approved the "puppy mill bill," which bans commercial breeders from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits in the city. Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed it into law last week, The Boston Globe reported.

“This is a very important piece of legislation that goes after the inhumane factories known as puppy mills,” explained Councilor Matt O’Malley, who proposed the ban. “It will also prohibit the sale of dogs on the street corner or in parking lots.”

The law was a preemptive one. And the good news is, it appears the new measure may complicate the pet store chain's plans to set up shop in Beantown.

I'd guess this pudgy pup — who wears its Red Sox pride for all to see — would approve of the city's "puppy mill bill." Photo by Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images.

This month is really shaping up to be big one for animal welfare advocates (and a lousy one for puppy mills).

Just a few states away, a smaller city dealt commercial breeders yet another blow.

The city council of Grove City, Ohio, just passed a similar law to Boston's — one that bans pet stores from selling animals obtained from puppy mills.

The ban means all animals sold in Grove City need to be from shelters or rescues, 10TV News in Columbus reported.

It may be a smaller market than Bah-sten, but still — pretty damn cool.


Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

“If people really did their research and really knew what they were buying and how those animals were treated, I think that most people would not buy those dogs," Kristen Ebsen, who supported the ban, told 10TV News. "So I just want to let people know if they're considering buying a dog from a pet store, really do your research."

Can I get a hell yeah for Boston and Grove City?

The best part about all of this is that you don't need to live in Boston or Grove City to fight back against puppy mills.

Like Ebsen noted, the more people realize where their pets come from, the more likely they are to adopt a rescue than contribute to the puppy mill economy.

If you're in the market to welcome a new (furry) family member, you can find a shelter near you. Our four-legged friends thank you for it.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

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Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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