Permits put kibosh on parking-lot pet sales



Public Pet Re-homing Permit applications and information are available at

Haven’t seen anyone selling a litter of fluffy puppies or kittens out of the back of a car lately? There’s a reason for that.

It has been more than a year since Mesa County Animal Services introduced a Public Pet Re-homing Permit last May that requires would-be pet sellers to fill out an application, get a veterinarian to make sure pets for sale are healthy and up-to-date on shots, and get written permission from a business before selling pets in the business’ parking lot in the city of Grand Junction or unincorporated Mesa County. To date, the county has yet to receive a single permit application.

That doesn’t mean people are simply selling without a permit sans consequences, according to Mesa County Animal Services Director Penny McCarty. Eleven people have been ticketed for operating without a permit but all of those tickets were handed out last summer. McCarty said animal services officers got a handful of calls about permit violators this spring but one person got a warning and the rest left the area before officers arrived.

“The public is doing a really good job” reporting violations, McCarty said. “Sometimes residents tell people they can’t do that in Mesa County and they leave before we get a call. I think the word is getting out that you can’t do this here.”

Of course, pet sales are still going on, but McCarty believes more people are posting ads online to sell their pets versus trotting them out in public. That change doesn’t ensure every pet sold is healthy or raised under the best conditions, but McCarty believes it does help deter impulse-buys by people who weren’t looking for a pet but couldn’t resist when they saw one in a parking lot.

“Impulse shoppers who when they get home have no means to take care of the dog or cat often bring them to the shelter,” McCarty said.

McCarty advises shoppers who seek pets online should visit the place where the pet is being raised, meet the mom and, if possible, the father of the pet, and try to wait until the pet is at least eight weeks old and socialized before taking it home.


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Now if we could pass an ordinance banning homeless people from owning pets.

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