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.
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 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.
Commissioners 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.
Incentives: Expected to approve $357,000 in incentives to “Project Emblem,” now revealed as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, for its corporate headquarters in Boca Raton; and offer $89,000, as part of a state match, to “Project Cranium,” an as-yet undisclosed company wanting to more its regional headquarters to the county.
Vehicles for Hire:Set to take the second of two votes onnew “reciprocity” rulesfor taxis, limos, and app-based rides such as Uber and Lyft, for five southeast Florida counties.
What impact will the planned Westlake development, formerly called Minto West, have on the surrounding area? Commissioners will get a report at their regular meeting Tuesday.
Also on the agenda:
Pets: Set to take the first of two votes on tough new rules for pet stores that the head of the county’s Animal Care and Control says are designed to reduce the flow of animals from so-called “puppy mills.”
Vehicles for Hire: Set to take the first of two votes on new “reciprocity” rules for taxis, limos, and app-based rides such as Uber, for five southeast Florida counties.
PBIA: Would approve the replacement of a bookstore at Palm Beach International Airport with a “gourmet market.”
Fire Stations: Would agree to buy the property where it operates two fire-rescue stations for the Village of Royal Palm Beach, saying it was cheaper in the long run than leasing.
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 Palm Beach County Commission once again will tackle the issue of how the app-based ride service and similar ones are regulated, and whether they are getting an unfair advantage over traditional taxis and limos.
The biggest aspect of the Uber package commissioners will consider: both Uber-style outfits and taxis would be responsible to either conduct their own background checks or hire the county to do the more comprehensive and costly fingerprint-based “Level II” checks for them. That, and what insurance would be required of drivers in both endeavors, have been sticking points in the debate for going on two years.
The commission might also talk some more about last week’s charge by the county’s inspector general that officials of the Palm Tran Connection cooked their books to improve the on-time record for the bus service for the disabled, elderly and ill.