Fort Worth Bans Roadside Sales of Animals

There will be no more roadside sales of puppies or other animals in Fort Worth, Texas. The Fort Worth city council has passed an ordinance making it illegal to "sell, exchange, trade, barter, lease, rent, give away or display for a commercial purpose any live animal on any roadside, public right of way, parkway, median, park, playground, swimming pool, other recreational area, flea market, or commercial or retail parking lot that is generally accessible to the public".

There are exceptions for animal welfare organizations, pet stores, and other scientific, educational and entertainment groups that exhibit but don’t sell or give away animals.

Violators can be fined up to $2,000 for each offense.

The local Animal Care and Control reports innumerable complaints from people who have purchased a pet but have no way to contact the roadside seller once they discover the animal is not a specific breed or purebred as represented or has an illness, disease, injury or congenital condition that has left them with hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinary bills.

Roadside sales are an easy way for backyard breeders to sell animals. They count on impulse buys from the public and, of course, by selling along the roads or on public land, these backyard commercial breeders can keep the overhead low. Kudos to Fort Worth for taking this step to put a dent in the pet trade.

A bill is pending in the Arizona legislature to ban such sales statewide. Click here for more on that.