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Possible bill to ban all sales of dogs and cats

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE/CAP NEWS, Fla. (WCJB) - The sale of all dogs and cats would be banned in retail stores under legislation recently filed in the state Capitol.

Animal activists say the policy would cut down on puppy mills, but some store owners argue a blanket ban may go too far.

The dog days may soon be over for pet retailers that sell dogs and cats in their stores.

Legislation banning retail sales of animals is the top legislative priority of the Humane Society.

“Five states have passed a similar bill,” said Kate MacFall with the Humane Society.

MacFall said dogs and cats sold by retailers are often sourced from puppy mills.

“Which are commercial large-scale breeders who put the profit above the welfare of the animals,” said MacFall.

Under the legislation, you would only be allowed to adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter or you could purchase an animal from a trusted breeder.

Carol Hoover, owner of Carol’s Critters in the capital city no longer sells dogs in her store, but when she did, she sourced them from local breeders.

“I visited the breeders. I went to their actual houses,” said Hoover.

She said she understands the concerns that come with larger retailers, but worries a blanket ban on sales could cut of opportunities for breeders and consumers to connect.

“A lot of people didn’t want other people coming to their house. they had a few puppies, they didn’t want to have them come by. This was another outlet for them,” said Hoover.

But MacFall argued banning sales in stores will prevent impulse purchases, which could hopefully reduce the number of cats and dogs ending up in shelters.

“That’s the old puppy in the window. You know that whole theme,” said MacFall.

The bill has an effective date of July 1st, 2022, but the Humane Society told us it envisions a gradual rollout to give retailers time to sell pets already in store.

If passed, retailers caught selling cats or dogs in their storefronts would face a fine of up to $500.

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