A bill that will make the selling of dogs and cats from puppy mills/kitten mills illegal is being considered to become local law. Council will vote on Ordinance 2484 at the May 4th Mayor & Council meeting.
Ordinance 2484 was proposed by Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey in a workshop discussion at the April 6th municipal meeting. The councilwoman acknowledged that the borough currently has no pet shops but the ordinance would be a preventative measure. The ordinance was a result of a proposal the councilwoman received to have municipalities throughout the state and country prohibit the selling of pets from animal mills. The first reading of the ordinance was at the April 18th meeting.
During the discussion, First Ward Councilman Eugene Meola asked if the prohibition be included in the code book for pet shops in general. He was told that if that were the case it would a zoning issue that would need to go before the Municipal Land Use Board (MLUB) and that this ordinance would address this better.
The bill describes puppy/kitten mills as “large-scale, commercial breeding facilities where the health and welfare of the animals are not adequately provided for”. It also only allows the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops from an animal care facility or an animal rescue organization.
There is a term that is mentioned but not defined which is a ‘hobby breeder’. It is stated that the ordinance “will not affect a consumer’s ability to obtain a dog or cat of his or her choice directly from a . . . hobby breeder where the consumer can see directly the conditions in which the dogs or cats are bred or can confer directly with the hobby breeder concerning those conditions” but does not mention this exemption in the enforceable sections of the proposed law.
The restrictions on the sale of animals read:
- A pet shop may offer for sale only those dogs and cats that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:
- An animal care facility; or
- An animal rescue organization.
- A pet shop shall not offer for sale a dog or cat that is younger than eight (8) weeks old.
The fines for violating the proposed law range from $100 to $2,000 or 90 days in jail or 90 days community service, according to Chapter I, Section 1-5.
A copy of the ordinance is included below:
Download Ordinance 2484