Cities in Broward and Palm Beach are slowly adding their names to a growing list of places in South Florida that ban the commercial sale of pets.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Coconut Creek just became the latest municipality to get on the no-pets-sale bandwagon, in an attempt to curb overbreeding, and to encourage people to adopt their pets from animal shelters.
However, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council is saying that banning or restricting the commercial sale of pets doesn't necessarily work.
Coconut Creek joined places like Hallandale Beach, Margate, Lake Worth, and Lauderdale Lakes in enacting the law.
Specifically, the law says that only hobby breeders, who sell a minimum of one litter per animal a year, are allowed to sell cats and dogs in a city.
The restriction basically keeps people from inadvertently buying pets that come from puppy mills, or other inhumane places. The hope is to drive puppy mills, which are known to breed sickly animals in poor conditions, into the ground, while promoting people getting their pets from animal shelters, and other places where the animals are treated humanely.
But Mike Bober, vice president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, sent a letter to Coconut Creek, saying that there's no proof that the way to bring down puppy mills is by banning commercial pet sales.
"The approach the ordinance takes is unsupported by all available facts," said a letter sent to Coconut Creek by Mike Bober, the organization's vice president. The group instead urged any law focus on requiring pets sold in the city to come from a USDA licensed breeder with clean records for animal care.
But the push to get other cities to follow suit has been underway, with Hallandale Beach Commissioner Michele Lazarow leading the way.
Lazarow had her own experience when she bought a puppy from a pet store in Hollywood. The dog, it soon became clear, had suffered "neurological and physical damage" having been bred into a poor quality of life.
The idea behind the ban is not to harm pet business but, rather, to make sure they offer for adoption of pets from licensed animal rescuers and shelters.