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.

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.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com

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.


More than 1,000 pets available Sept. 10 for you to take home

031416 Pet Parade Portraits 16Imagine 2,000 eyes giving you that look only a shelter pet can.

As many as 1,000 dogs and cats will be on hand for what organizers say is the county’s biggest adoption event of the year, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center at 650 Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach.

The third annual Countdown 2 Zero adoption event is presented by The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and organized by the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, and more than two dozen local animal rescue organizations. The first two events found homes for nearly 600 animals.

Organizers said they also want to spread the word about having pets spayed or neutered, as part of the campaign to end the euthanizing of shelter animals.

Admission and parking are free and many of the groups will offer discounts and incentives. All adopters will receive gifts as well as free rabies tags.

Call 561-472-8845 or email info@countdown2zero.org.

Raining cats and dogs: Palm Beach County offers $4 adoptions next week


Adopting a pet will cost you less than lunch for four days next week.

From Thursday through Sunday, July 28-July 31, Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control will offer adoptions for just $4 at its headquarters at 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

All newly adopted-pets will be spayed or neutered and microchipped, will be current on vaccinations, and will go home with a free bag of pet food and more.

Visit www.pbcgov.com/animal for more information or to see a listing of all animals available for adoption.

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.

Palm Beach County Magistrate spares life of pit bull that bit Jupiter Farms man

Hurley in 2013

Hurley will live.

At a special “aggressive dog” hearing Wednesday morning, a magistrate refused to ratify Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control’s classification of the 4-year-old mail pit bull as “vicious,” which would have meant the death penalty.

Hurley had bit disabled veteran Lee Ash May 6 at Jupiter Farms Park, causing wounds to Ash’s scalp and forehead that required numerous stitches and staples.

Ash said Hurley but him after he took a football linebacker’s stance and knocked the dog down as it charged him and his 5-year-old Schnauzer, Prancer.

On Wednesday, Magistrate Earl Mallory said owner Ken Zaino was at fault when he let the dog off the leash for what Zaino said was “two seconds.” He said the county was at fault for not declaring the dog “dangerous” in 2013 after it bit two people less than six months apart. And Mallory said that while he’d have done the same things as Ash, Ash was at fault. He said it technically was Ash who attacked the dog, not the other way around.

Mallory instead instituted the “dangerous” classification, which will require the Zainos to, among other things, buy a special tag, post special signs, and muzzle the dog outside their property.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.