Florida’s Seminole County has joined the ranks of municipalities across the country who have banned retail sale of dogs and cats. In addition, they have banned the importation for sale of animals from puppy-and-kitten mills. Moving forward, under the terms of this ordinance, only adoptable animals from shelters and rescues will be made available in local retail outlets.
County Commissioners unanimously voted for the ban. Groups such as the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, aka ARFF, have been keeping tabs on the proposed ordinance. Currently there are no pet stores in the county selling dogs or cats, due to previous activity by proactive citizens. Any stores who used to sell them have either gone out of business or relocated to another county. Still, ARFF and others wanted to make the ban official, acting preemptively to make it impossible for stores like these to even open in the county.
“The purpose of the bill was to create a more humane Seminole County,” said Bryan Wilson, Central Florida Coordinator for ARFF. He added,
“Seminole County has already voted with their dollars and cents. We’re glad the commission voted for the law to be in place.”
In a show of solidarity, advocates who supported the ban arrived at the meeting wearing red shirts, holding signs that read “No Puppy Mill Sales.” Attendees were ecstatic at the ruling, since it will encourage adoption.
From a financial standpoint, many mill animals may have congenital abnormalities that are not revealed to the buyer, which is, essentially, consumer fraud. Their unanticipated bills will begin to mount and an unaffordable animal may find itself on the street or in a shelter.
And the consumer may face a heavy emotional toll. One attendee reported that, years ago, she had adopted a puppy mill rescue dog. Though only a few years old, she had no teeth and had also developed the habit of ingesting her own feces.
Throughout Florida, almost 60 communities have passed similar ordinances, with close to 250 nationwide – a huge win for our companion animals. A number of departments in Seminole County came together to create this outstanding, and very welcome, new ordinance.
Want to learn more about the benefits of outlawing puppy mills or watch inspiring stories? Check out an episode of ShelterMe.tv!