PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The city of Port St. Lucie will consider doing more to keep pet mill animals out of stores and support clearing the animal shelters, packed with animals needing homes.
City council members ended up tabling the discussion Monday night to revisit in December.
A proposed change to a city ordinance would require a pet shop to follow an adoption-based model for the sale of dogs, cats or rabbits.
Animals would have to be sourced from stray and unwanted pets, like those taken in by an animal shelter or rescue.
Dogs or cats purchased by a seller directly from a breeder or wholesaler would not be offered for sale by pet shops.
"It started with the sale of rabbits and then we've had a particular group of people who have been really upset about the sale of rabbits in the city," Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc explained. "People tend to get them, then turn them loose."
The city will also review requiring permits for breeders.
"I think having the breeder registration where they'd be permitted would let us know how many people are breeding animals and if they're doing it professionally," Bolduc continued. "If they are breeding animals, are they being treated right? That gives us the opportunity to inspect."
There are currently no pet stores selling animals in the city, but this updated ordinance, Bolduc said, lays the groundwork for any future stores.