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County considering ordinance that would ban retail sale of cats and dogs

WESH

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    ORANGE COUNTY, Florida (WESH) — Orange County is considering an ordinance that would ban the retail sale of cats and dogs.

At a workshop on Tuesday morning, more than 30 citizens spoke out on the issue.

The burning question is, will existing pet shops be forced to close? Or will they be grandfathered in?

“I had to go home and tell my 3-year-old son that the dog he loved and fell in love with was dead,” said Michael Kraft, who adopted a sick dog.

Kraft was one of the residents who pleaded with the Orange County Commission on Tuesday to ban the retail sale of cats and dogs.

He says he bought his kids an expensive dog at a local pet shop, only to have it die a few days later.

“They kept telling me there was nothing wrong with the dog, nothing wrong with the dog,” Kraft said.

The county commission is considering two versions of a proposed ban.

One would completely ban the retail sale of cats and dogs, but pet stores could still display animals for adoption. Any fee collected must go to the rescue organization.

The second version would ban new retail pet shops from opening, but grandfather in the eight that currently exist in the county. Moving forward, they would have to prove their pets come from reputable breeders.

Speakers in favor of the ban argued that retail pet stores support the puppy mill industry and engage in predatory lending practices to get people to finance expensive, often unhealthy pets.

The majority of speakers against the ban were affiliated with the Petland chain of stores, which has two locations in Orlando.

“We source our puppies from the best breeders we can find, we responsibly care for them,” said Eric Davies, owner of Petland Orlando South.

The county commission must now consider which version of the ordinance to take to a public hearing. Seminole, Osceola, Marion and Lake counties already have some version of a ban on retail pet sales.

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