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Philadelphia City Council Takes Step To Combat Puppy Mills

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia is one step closer to banning the sale of pets from so-called "puppy mills."  A city council committee has approved a bill requiring that pet stores get cats and dogs from shelters or rescue organizations.

More than half a dozen speakers testified on behalf of the bill, some describing deplorable conditions at high volume breeders known as puppy mills. The Humane Society's Amy Jesse says they contribute to the burden on shelters.

"The puppies are often sick and then there are also behavioral issues, because these puppies knew nothing but life in a cage," Jesse said. "Sickness and behavioral issues are two of the top reasons that dogs end up in shelters."

The bill introduced by Kenyatta Johnson not only discourages puppy mills, it creates an outlet for those shelters. Johnson says the city's pet stores have already voluntarily agreed not to sell puppy mill products, but -- as an animal lover -- he wants to be proactive.

"If any stores in the future decide to source from puppy mills or kitten mills, we'll be on the front lines to make sure that doesn't happen," Johnson said.

The bill now goes to the full council.

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