OLYMPIA, Wash. -- There's a new push in Olympia to ban pet stores from selling dogs and cats. It's a move to control puppy mills and kitten factories that many say put profits over the well-being of pets.
The Olympia City Council is considering an ordinance that would limit pet stores to hosting rescue pets.
Olympia Councilmember Lisa Pashley, a veterinarian, says she has seen the disturbing mistreatment of animals at puppy mills.
"These animals when they come in are starving for love and attention," Pashley said. "It is clear they have never had it."
Puppyworld in Olympia and its parent company Puppyland have been the target of accusations.
The company responded on Facebook, saying pet owners want options.
The company added, "Bans on pet stores slash the opportunities for individuals to obtain an appropriate pet for their lifestyle."
Almost 300 cities in the U.S. have banned pet stores from retail sales of dogs and cats.
State lawmakers have considered a similar ban during the past two legislative sessions, but both times the bill has failed to make it to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.
Most local pet stores no longer sell cats and dogs. In Olympia, you would still be able to buy directly from a breeder.
Experts say if you're looking for a specific breed, there are purebred rescues. If you prefer to go to a breeder, experts say you should visit that breeder.
A responsible breeder will allow you to see where the puppies and breeding dogs spend their time.
They'll allow you to meet the mother and observe her temperament. The breeder should provide a written contract, with a health guarantee for the pet.
If they don't allow those things -- it's likely a red flag.