Palm Beach County commissioners vote to ban new pet stores from selling dogs, cats

Posted at 7:07 AM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 20:27:34-04

Palm Beach County commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to ban new pet stores from selling dogs and cats.

It is an effort to get rid of puppy mills and to make sure the pets that are for sale are from USDA-licensed breeders with no history of animal cruelty.

The new ordinance requires animal agencies to provide adoption records monthly, prohibits breeding of certain cats and makes some changes to rules for dangerous and vicious dogs.

Eight Palm Beach County pet shops would be grandfathered in under the new law.

One of those stores is Palm Beach Pets in Boca Raton. "My husband and I have gone to the Midwest, we've met a lot of our breeders many times," said Heidi Garson, during public comment.

Her husband, Alan Garson, also spoke out during public comment. "The winner of this ordinance is the people of Palm Beach County because you're asking us to be stricter than we already are and that's a great thing."

At the meeting, people spoke out passionately about puppy mill pets. "Pet shops selling these puppies may not know the truth, facts where these puppies came from," said a Palm Beach County resident. 

The hope is the new law will also inspire more people to rescue dogs and cats that need homes.

The eight pet stores grandfathered into the law, will be allowed to sell or pass down their permits. The shops are subject to random inspections by Animal Care and Control. 

Animal Care and Control is also asking for a part-time animal control officer to help enforce the new rules.