PBC wants Trump administration policy change on animal breeders

Palm Beach County is expected to discuss a resolution Tuesday calling on the Trump administration to resume posting information on animal breeders who violate standards monitored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In an effort to shut down so-called pet mills, which critics contend house and breed animals in inhumane conditions, the county banned the sale of puppies and kittens at new pet stores. But existing pet stores were allowed to continue selling the animals as long as they were obtained from breeders who are licensed and not in violation of USDA standards.

» Trump administration’s policy change undercuts county puppy-sales law

In February, however, the USDA under the Trump administration removed from its website information on breeders with violations. That means neither the county nor pet stores know which breeders have violations.

The USDA change, along with concerns about the treatment of animals at Star Pups in Royal Palm Beach, has led to calls for the county to revisit its policy of allowing existing pet stores to sell puppies and kittens.

Gator takes a siesta in Pine Glades Natural Area

Good thing he wasn’t in Big Cypress National Preserve.

No pythons were in sight (nor was intrepid Palm Beach Post reporter Joe Capozzi) Wednesday when this small alligator swam up to greet a reporter who had ventured out to the Pine Glades Natural Area in Jupiter for a story.

Said reporter remained safely on a deck overlooking the gator’s watery haunt. After swimming to a spot near the base of the deck, the gator, about four feet long, remained still near the surface of the water for the duration of the reporter’s stay.

Guess he just wanted to say hello.

PBC approves land use change for horse manure recycling

082812 (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post) -- Boynton Beach -- Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center is helping out horse owners in flooded areas of Palm Beach County by opening its stalls to the public at their facility in Boynton Beach on Tuesday. Palm Meadows is not charging for the temporary stalls and owners have to provide their own care, hay, feed and bedding. They are currently housing 11 horses in their 1400 stalls. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)
(Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach County commissioners approved a land use change that would allow a horse manure recycling facility to operate between Belle Glade and Wellington, the epicenter of the county’s equestrian industry.

The land use change will be transmitted to state officials for review and come back to commissioners for final approval in March or April when Horizon Compost hopes to get approval of its zoning application for a facility that would be located on 32 acres eight miles east of Belle Glade and eight miles west of Wellington.

Horizon says it has a process that can clean horse bedding, which can be re-used while the manure is turned into a high-grade fertilizer.

Commissioners, who unanimously approved the land use change, said they believe the recycling facility can reduce illegal dumping of manure in the county.

Your own kitty for four bucks!

kittens4-langloisFor the cost of a cat toy, you can have a kitten of your own.

Through Nov, 30, Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control will charge only $4 to adopt a cat or kitten at its overflowing shelter.

Cats will be spayed or neutered and microchipped and will have the most current vaccinations. You also will get a free bag of cat food and a follow-up health care certificate worth $500.

Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Animal Care and Control is at 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.  Call 561-233-1200 or visit www.pbcgov.com/animal.

Solution for excess horse manure?

Palm Beach County has a problem – too much horse manure. And that’s not because presidential candidates keep coming here.

No, the county has a vibrant equestrian industry. But some of the waste from those horses is dumped illegally, threatening the environment.

More companies that recycle or process that waste have wanted to set up shop in the county, but residents, wary of the potential odorous effects of such an operation, have shouted NIMBY (not in my backyard).

County officials now hope they have a solution.

Commissioners have given preliminary approval to an amendment of the county’s comprehensive plan that would allow an equestrian waste recycling pilot project to operate in an area called the Glades tier, a large swath of unincorporated farming land west of Wellington and east of Belle Glade.

The goal is to have the operation located close enough to the equestrian hot spot of Wellington but not close enough to Wellington (or to cities in the Glades, for that matter) for it to foul the air of neighborhoods and depress property values.

Commissioner Priscilla Taylor initially expressed concern that the operation would be foisted upon already economically depressed cities in the Glades, but Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose office has been working on the issue, assured her that is not the case.

McKinlay’s district includes the Glades, and she bristled at the suggestion that she would support foisting anything on the area.

Ultimately, commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the amendment, which must be reviewed by state officials before it comes back to the county for final approval.

McKinlay viewed the amendment as a step in the right direction.

“We’ve got hundreds of thousands of tons that need to be disposed of,” she said.



County urges residents to make hurricane plans

Powerful Hurricane Matthew is bringing mayhem to Haiti and is expected to rake the Florida coast, some parts of which are now under a hurricane watch.

No evacuation orders have been issued in Florida, but Palm Beach County emergency officials are urging residents to prepare for impacts.

The county’s new web site has links to hurricane preparedness information, including information on shelters, pet care and transportation.

Wind blows coconut trees during the passage of Hurricane Matthew in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Hurricane Matthew roared into the southwestern coast of Haiti on Tuesday, threatening a largely rural corner of the impoverished country with devastating storm conditions as it headed north toward Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
Wind blows coconut trees during the passage of Hurricane Matthew in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)


Check out the new animal lovers specialty license plate

animalfriends_samplAnimal lovers who want a specialty plate have a new look.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Thursday displayed its redesigned “Animal Friend” specialty license plate. It will be delivered to tax collector and tag agency offices and available by Oct. 7.

Find locations at https://www.flhsmv.gov/locations.

You’ll pay a $25 specialty plate fee on top of other registration fees.

As of Sept. 1, Florida has 19,589 registered Animal Friend plates. They’ve been available since April 2005.  Money goes to Florida Animal Friend, Inc., to pay for spay and neuter programs.

For a list of Florida’s specialty license plates, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/specialtytags/.

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 mypalmbeachpost.com.


Missed your chance to adopt a pet? Palm Beach County promotions extended

(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

Did you miss your chance last weekend to adopt a pet? You’re getting another shot.

Over the July 4 weekendPalm Beach County Animal Care and Control waived adoption fees for cats and kittens and set a “name your price” adoption promotion for dogs.

Animal Care said Wednesday it’s now extending the two promotions through this Sunday, July 10.

Pets are spayed or neutered, are current on vaccinations and microchipped, have a current county tag, and go out the door with a free bag of food and a certificate worth $500 in pet health care.

The shelter is at 7100 Belvedere Road in suburban West Palm Beach. Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more or to view pictures of adoptable animals online, visit www.pbcgov.com/animal or call 561-233-1272.


Cats gratis! Doggie discounts! See Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

082215 Daily local clo 2
Rich Graulich/Post Staff

Celebrate your independence this weekend by attaching yourself to a pet.

In an effort to save more lives and connect more of its shelter animals with homes. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control will waive adoption fees for cats and kittens and has set a “name your price” adoption promotion for dogs. Both promotions run through Sunday.

Pets are spayed or neutered, are current on vaccinations and microchipped, have a current county tag, and leave along with a free bag of food and a certificate worth $500 in pet health care.

The shelter is at 7100 Belvedere Road in suburban West Palm Beach. Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The shelter is closed Monday for the July 4 holiday.

For more,  visit www.pbcgov.com/animal or call (561) 233-1272.