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Pasco County, Florida Added to the List of Counties Banning Pet Store Sales


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Retail sales of cats and dogs is now prohibited in Pasco County, FL after the Board of County Commissioners voted 5-0 to ban the practice. Pasco County, in West Central Florida, includes Dade City, Dade City North New Port Richey, North, Port Richey, Odessa, Pasco, Trinity and Wesley Chapel.

Passing the ordinance, which was proposed to the board on August 4, aligns Pasco County with more than 50 municipalities and eight other counties in Florida that have approved similar regulations. None of these ordinances have issues with pets stores that adopt dogs, cats or rabbits. The problem with pet store sales of these animals is where they are sourced from; they greatly arrive from large commercial facilities known as puppy mills.  No responsible breeder EVER sells to pet stores.

With so many cites and counties in Florida banning pet store sales, it’s expected that at some point this will happen state-wide there, as it has in California, Maryland and Maine. Other states are considering state-wide bans, but due to the pandemic the legislative sessions have slowed.

For example, Dr. Adam Christman, chief veterinary officer at DVM 360/MJH Life Sciences (FETCH Veterinary Conferences) – an undisputed leader in veterinary medicine – has helped to lead the charge quite successfully in New Jersey for that state to ban sales of dog, cats and rabbit sales at pet stores. He talks from personal experience about the horror of treating these poor pet store animals and dealing with their behavior problems. “We saw SO many sick puppies and kitties coming through,” he tells me here on WGN.

New York State is also moving in the direction of banning pet store sales of dogs and cats at pet stores.

Thus far, dozens of counties and growing to near 400 cities have banned retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits.

“Prohibiting the retail sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores is likely to decrease the demand for puppies and kittens bred in puppy and kitten mills, and is likely to increase demand for animals from animal shelters, animal rescue organizations and registered breeders,” according to the ordinance.  There is no mention of “hobby breeders” in the ordinance, so people who lovingly and at a small scale breed Affenpinschers t Yorkshire Terriers are not impacted by the ordinance.

In Pasco County, three speakers opposed implementation of the ordinance, including two sisters who are members of a family that operates three pet stores in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, called All About Puppies. The business was established in 1995 and both sisters said bans do nothing to eliminate the existence of puppy or kitten mills and that they are reputable, licensed businesses doing their part to operate ethically. In my view, that’s a “creative” description for a puppy mill.

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