Hallandale Beach Commission to Discuss Puppy-Store Regulations Tonight

The Hallandale Beach City Commission will meet to discuss a proposal to crack down on puppy stores in that city, tonight at 6 o'clock. For years, activists have been trying to get the city to join a handful of other cities nationwide -- including Lake Worth -- in an outright ban on puppy stores (or "puppy mills," as they're called by opponents, because of the often crowded, unsanitary condition in which puppies for sale are raised).

The ordinance being discussed tonight will not actually ban the sale of dogs and cats -- it will only prohibit their retail sale if the store owner cannot provide a valid "certificate of source" for each animal -- presumably to prevent the sale of animals from mass-breeding facilities. Furthermore, it will "encourage pet customers to adopt dogs and cats from shelters."

This wouldn't be such big news in Hallandale if it weren't for the fact that Mayor Joy Cooper has taken a lot of heat for opposing an outright ban on puppy mills. It hasn't helped her case that her arguments against a ban have been less than eloquent:

From: "Cooper, Joy"
Subject: Re: Pet Store Ordinance

Commissioner request to have staff research and amend current ordinance and adopt changes to reflect Fort Worth with everything accept an out right ban on pet stores

It will be placed on the agenda

As I have told others I agree with all accept ban

In my opinion this is a comprise to work together to ensure Hallandale has a good ordinance that is fair to all parties

Anyway, activists are planning a rally around the 6 p.m. meeting today. Michele Lazarow, an organizer of the protest movement, writes on Facebook:

Let the Commission know that we do not want puppy stores in our city. This ordinance is for every sick puppy that sits languishing in a store. It is for homeless dogs waiting lonely in the shelter for someone to adopt them. We need to show the country and our community Hallandale Beach is humane, progressive and compassionate. Please help us blaze the trail for other Broward cities to follow.

More information about the proposed ordinance is online. The city's development services department supports it, and code enforcement does not. To restate: This is NOT an outright ban on the sale of puppies and kittens outside of shelters, and we hope the discussion will involve some clarification of what a "certificate of source" for animals will be required to show.

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Stefan Kamph
Contact: Stefan Kamph