Palm Beach County OKs tougher pet store rules

Palm Beach County commissioners Tuesday set new rules animal control managers say will help stanch the flow from so-called “puppy mills.”

The vote was 6-0; Priscilla Taylor had had to leave to attend a luncheon.

091316-met-pet-store-02Commissioners had approved the rules on a first vote Sept, 13, following a contentious debate.  Animal rights advocates said it wouldn’t do enough. And the eight pet stores in the county that still could sell dogs and cats were for it; they would be the only game in town.

For Tuesday’s second vote, the county stuck with its stance to “grandfather” in existing pet stores that sell dogs and cats.

But it added a provision to yank permission for two major health or safety violations five years. 

And it moved up the date the rules to take effect, to Oct. 1. Commissioner Melissa McKinlay had said at the Sept. 13 meeting that she worried entrepreneurs would rush to set up a pet store and qualify for the grandfather clause.

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