Dog in poundArizona’s U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell recently ruled that Arizona pet stores are banned from selling dogs and cats they receive from breeders. According to, the new ordinance states all Arizona pet stores must receive their animals from shelters and nonprofit rescue organizations.

The upholding of the ordinance, first discussed in December 2013, is a huge stride in ensuring pet stores across the valley are not supplying their businesses with dogs from puppy mills. A continuously growing problem that has finally received much needed attention, “a puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices,” according to the ASPCA. Dogs are known to be locked in wire chicken cages for most of their life, and overbred to the point where females die of uterine complications, and males are shot when the breeder no longer has use for them.

Kelly Perry is the founder of a nonprofit animal shelter called Lucky Paws AZ. Her cage-free philosophy allows every animal she takes in to enjoy a warm bed and big backyard.

“I started Lucky Paws almost five years ago because I am against cages, and I rescue these animals from caged situations. I think it (cages) leads to food aggression, dog aggression and dog fighting,” Perry said, explaining the rabbits she rescues are cage free, and often sleep with the cats.

Perry fiercely advocates for rescuing animals, and urges people to do their research before even considering bringing an animal into their home. Too often Perry sees individuals decide on an animal they were not well prepared for.

Dog training “I hear the excuses every single day from people who never put the time into the training of their dog, and now it’s too much for them,” Perry said, who rescues animals in cruelty cases, or off the euthanasia list from pounds across the valley.

As the number of pets in need of homes grow, more people still sway toward purchasing their pet from a breeder or retailer for fear of rescuing a sick or aggressive animal.

Perry explains regardless if one is buying from a pet store, or rescuing from a shelter, you always run the risk of the animal being, or eventually getting sick. However, one of the many upsides of adopting from a rescue organization like Lucky Paws is the intense emotional knowledge the foster parents have of their foster animals.

“I know all the quirks of every animal. I know exactly which animals like kids, and who doesn’t like kids. Who likes men, and who doesn’t,” Perry said.

One of the most important pieces of information Perry hopes people will absorb is understanding that if you don’t put the time in to your pet, any pet, regardless of the breed, can become aggressive and ill behaved. It all comes down to training your pet, and giving them the care they require and deserve .