Manatee County seeks to join campaign to end puppy mill pipeline

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A county in Florida is taking action to protect animals by potentially banning stores from selling them.

Manatee County Commissioners are meeting on Tuesday to discuss and vote on banning pet stores from selling dogs and cats. If they vote yes, they will join over 70 other Florida jurisdictions. Orange County was the most recent to enact a ban.

There are over 400 laws across the country.

Animal rights activists say it’s a big win because it can eliminate a critical outlet for puppy mills, which raise animals in cramped and cruel conditions and then sell the offspring to pet stores.

the ASPCA reports that most of the puppies shipped to Florida came from commercial puppy brokers, who act as “middlemen” in the puppy mill pipeline.

the Human society says responsible breeders don’t sell their puppies to pet stores, and most pet stores don’t disclose where their puppies actually come from. They often say they work with “USDA licensed” breeders, but the USDA says its regulations are only minimum requirements for survival.

The agency’s own animal welfare fact sheet said, although they set acceptable standards, they are not ideal.

Most pet stores are against the push, saying they get their pets from reputable breeders and fear that ending dog and cat sales will result in the loss of their employees.

A statewide bill failed Florida House last year, but is expected to return for discussion in 2022.

For now, if the order passes in Manatee County, people will have to turn to adoption and rescue services.

If you are looking for a lifelong friend here in Southwest Florida, there are several places to go. These shelters always have a lot of animals looking for homes. This is not an exhaustive list of rescues in Southwest Florida. A Google search will help you find more, especially if you are looking for a certain breed.

Cape Coral Animal Shelter

Lee County Pet Services

Animal Shelter Center, North Fort Myers

Gulf Coast Humane Society, Fort Myers

Collier County Pet Services

Humanitarian Society of Naples

Charlotte County Animal Welfare League, Port Charlotte

Suncoast Humane Society, Englewood

DeSoto County Animal Control, Arcadia

Caloosa Humane Society, LaBelle


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