Delray may place restrictions on pet stores

Posted at 10:17 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 22:26:44-05

Soon you may only be able to buy rescued dogs and cats from pet stores in Delray Beach.

Tuesday, city leaders will discuss a new ordinance banning the sale of any dog or cat in the city, except if those animals come from an animal shelter or rescue operation.

The idea is to cut down on inhumane puppy mills.

Rescue groups say it will save dogs from dying at shelters.

"By incorporating rescue dogs in their retail stores, it would give the rescues another outlet and more visibility," explains Sandra Dezelan Axelband, who runs Dezzy's Second Chance Rescue.

There is only one pet store in the Delray Beach city limits: Wags to Riches, at 505 East Atlantic Ave.

Its owner says this change would not effect puppy mills. She says her store and the breeders she works with are licensed and regulated by multiple agencies.

The city commission first discussed this idea in spring of 2014, but waited to take a formal vote until similar laws in other municipalities were tested in legal cases. According to a staff report, most of those cases ended in favor of the municipalities.

Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach, Lake Worth, and Greenacres have similar ordinances.