Animal rights groups: “puppy mill” rules don’t go far enough

UPDATE: County Commissioners voted yes on the first of two votes. The vote was 7-0. The panel agreed to add to the rules a proviso that any of the existing stores which are “grandfathered” in would lose its right to sell if it commits two “major” violations in five years. Staff will work on defining “major.”

A plan designed to stanch the flow  from so-called “puppy mills” got some unexpected opposition at Tuesday’s Palm Beach County Commission meeting.

It came from animal rights advocates. Their beef: it doesn’t do enough.

Under the proposed rule, no permit would be issued for any new pet shop that offers dogs or cats for sale, beginning Nov. 1. New pet stores could still sell other animals and pet supplies, and existing stores could still sell dogs and cats from licensed breeders who comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture rules.

The head of the county’s Department of Animal Care and Control says the goal is to try to dry up the county as a market for so-called pet “mills.”

Tuesday, as the Palm Beach County Commission prepared to take the first of two votes, it got an earful from an unlikely source.

“The current stores must love this because you have eliminated their possibility of competition,” said Michele Lazarow, a city commissioner in Hallandale Beach in Broward County who has actively pushed for local rules for pet sales.

“By restricting the supply of these animals, you are driving the demand to the internet to places like Craigslist and Facebook which are completely unregulated which is where these puppy mills are,” said Robert Craig Wallach, a Palm Beach County attorney.

Stephanie Hochberger, an attorney who’s worked on similar bans cited “huge defects” in the ordinance.

“It simply doesn’t go far enough and sets back these efforts,” Hochberer said. She said “grandfathering in” existing stores “is a win for lobbyists and existing puppy mills.”

To read more, go later to


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s