Sandy Springs pet stores would not be allowed to sell dogs and cats from breeding facilities, and would only be allowed to accept pet adoptions from rescue organizations, under a new municipal law in preparation.
No pet stores in the city currently sell such animals anyway, officials said at a Nov. 7 city council meeting. But the planned ordinance ‘to promote the adoption of rescue animals’ has drawn council support as a symbolic and preventative measure.
“The reasoning is, take the profits away, you get rid of these puppy mills” where the animals are raised in “terrible conditions,” Council member Gabriel Sterling said.
The ordinance was presented in a non-voting business session, where council members agreed that city staff would move forward with a final version.
Assistant City Clerk Kelly Bogner and City Attorney Dan Lee touted the ordinance as encouraging humane treatment of animals, protecting customers and potentially saving local government money that could be spent treating animals. abandoned animals. The preamble to the proposed order cites organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, the Georgia SPCA, Fix Georgia Pets, and the American Kennel Club.
The concern, officials say, is that most cats and dogs sold in pet stores come from so-called factories. As the ordinance’s preamble explains, “Puppy and kitten mills are mass-breeding facilities that produce puppies and kittens with an emphasis on profit rather than human welfare. ‘animal. These mills typically house these animals in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water, and socialization. »
The order would ban pet stores from any kind of commercial trade in dogs and cats and only allow them to house rescue animals from government-run or non-profit shelters. Even then, stores would be required to display a sign indicating which organization each animal came from.
And cats and dogs under 8 weeks old could not be adopted.
A pet store could be fined up to $500 per violation.
The order would not prohibit individual customers from purchasing dogs or cats directly from a breeder “where consumers can directly see the conditions in which the dogs or cats are raised, or can speak directly with breeder about these conditions”.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Mayor Rusty Paul said of the proposed ordinance.
“I strongly support this ordinance,” council member Ken Dishman said, adding that “this particular issue is close” because his daughter supports the concept and they recently adopted a dog.
Correction: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect name for the Humane Society of the United States.