Arizona Business Owner Defends His Right to Operate His Business

Date: May 03, 2016 Last Edit: May 04, 2016

“Calvin’s Law” would let pet store owner continue to buy from breeders.

Defending His Right to Operate His Business

A small business owner in Phoenix is anxiously awaiting the outcome of a bill that would help keep his longtime pet store in operation.

Senate Bill 1248 would prohibit cities from regulating pet breeding, as Phoenix has done. The city prohibits pet store owners from purchasing puppies and kittens from commercial pet breeders. That means pet stores are allowed to buy animals only from shelters.

Pet store owner Frank Mineo is fighting back against these regulations. In 2014, he filed a lawsuit against the regulations in Phoenix. The case is a lawsuit brought in federal court on constitutional Interstate Commerce Clause grounds.

The city’s regulations pose a serious threat to Mineo’s business.

“It would become extremely difficult to obtain our pets, and there aren’t a lot of shelter dogs that meet consumer demands,” Mineo said. “These are overly broad bans that would put us out of business.”

Proponents of the new state bill say SB 1248 enforces high standards on pet breeding without burdening pet store owners with unnecessary regulations. “There are elements of the bill that are just smart legislation,” Mineo said.

The law would allow pet store owners to buy from commercial breeders, but only those who adhere to U.S. Department of Agriculture standards and who do not have any violations relating to the health or well-being of the animals, according to Mineo. The bill would also require owners to place breeder information cards on pet cages so consumers can research the breeder on their own.

The bill is also known as “Calvin’s Law,” after the dog whom NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan bought from Mineo’s store. Calvin is a healthy and friendly dog who came from a commercial breeder, Mineo said.

Mineo owns seven stores throughout the state, and five of them sell puppies. Mineo will continue to do business as usual, and he hopes SB 1248 passes so he can do so worry-free in the future, he said.

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