Palmetto Bay

Palmetto Bay moves to ban sale of puppy-mill pets in village

 

Special to the Miami Herald

The Palmetto Bay Village Council has tentatively approved a new law that prohibits retail stores in the village from selling pets purchased from mass-breeding facilities.

Known as puppy mills and kitten factories, these mass-production facilities breed pets that are later sold either directly to the customer or through retail pet stores.

The Humane Society of the United States says that mass-production facilities are often overcrowded and aside from basic living conditions – such as food, water and shelter – the facilities keep the pets in below par environments in an effort to minimize care costs and maximize profits. The overcrowding at puppy mills and kitten factories often leads to pets being born with genetic diseases, according to the society.

The new law strives to put mass-production facilities out of business by eliminating the market where breeders can sell their pets.

“If we get enough cities and counties to join us in the effort to stop it, it will eventually have a significant effect,” said Vice Mayor John DuBois, who sponsored the initiative. “Hopefully, the effect will be putting the puppy mills out of business and making it difficult for them to find retail outlets.”

The law is modeled after a similar ordinance passed by the city of Hallandale Beach a year ago.

In Florida, state laws do not regulate or outline the maximum number of pets allowed in mass-production factories, licensing requirements, and minimum humane standards, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Palmetto Bay’s new law is more of a preventative measure, as it pertains only to future pet stores that plan to set up shop in the village. Village staff has said that currently there are three pet stores in Palmetto Bay and none of them obtain their pets from puppy mills or kitten factories, according to documents provided to the village council.

The new law says that pet stores in Palmetto Bay can obtain their animals from a shelter or an animal-rescue organization. The pet-store owner is also allowed to breed cats and dogs on the premises. Next to each pet’s cage, the business would have to display a document that provides information about the pet’s origin.

As a practical matter, these rules also would prohibit the sale of puppies from small, reputable breeders, but such people typically sell directly to consumers rather than through stores.

DuBois added that the new law also strives to encourage people to adopt their pets from shelters and rescues.

“Even though there is nothing wrong with properly breeding a dog, I don’t like to encourage people to bring more animals because there are plenty of good dogs out there that are put down because there is no room in shelters,” he said. “When people buy dogs from pet stores, there’s a general perception that they are buying better dogs. What they don’t realize is that sometimes these dogs have issues and can have diseases related to overcrowding. Some of these salespeople get them from puppy mills. They are not going to tell buyers that.”

Miami-Dade County’s animal shelter in Medley takes in about 37,000 cats and dogs annually. At times, the euthanasia rate because of overcrowding is as high as one half of the number of animals that come into the shelter.

To enforce the new law, the village reserves the right to fine pet stores $250 a day, and to file civil lawsuits.

In other business on Monday, the council:

• Agreed to accept a $3,553 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The money from the federal grant, which is administered locally by the county, will be used for Palmetto Bay’s School Resource Officer Project “radKIDS,” which aims to train students to recognize and escape kidnapping situations.

• Agreed to hire Wrangler Construction for drainage improvements of four areas in Palmetto Bay to reduce flooding during storms. The contracted price for the four areas, part of 11 locations identified for drainage improvements, is not to exceed $229,412.

• Agreed to extend a contract with H & J Asphalt for resurfacing and striping of village roads. The contract is not to exceed $210,000.

• Approved creation of the Education Advisory Committee, which will meet to ensure that the provisions established in the village’s Education Compact with the Miami-Dade school board are met.

• Put off action on a traffic study for the Franjo Triangle area. Village staff had proposed hiring Marlin Engineering to conduct the study for $39,275. The village has embarked in a project to redevelop the area and turn in into a downtown district, complete with mid-rises, offices and businesses.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
This impressive and rather rare vase was made in England by a company that was founded in 1820 to make utilitarian items out of stoneware.

    Treasures

    How old is this vase from my great-grandfather?

    Q: Attached are photos of a vase that once belonged to my great-grandfather. It is marked “Coulton, Burslem” and is decorated with painted poppies and a three-dimensional dragon. It is marked with an emblem with a crown on top and the number 1922. It is 221/2 inches tall. Would it be possible for you to tell me how old it is and the approximate value?

  •  
A native ladybug on a firebush in Terri Stephens’ yard.

    Gardening

    The gardener and the ladybugs

    A citizen-scientist documents the ladybugs in her South Dade yard for a research project.

  •  
This Wellworth two-piece elongated dual-flush from Kohler comes in a right-side flush option.

    Ask a plumber

    Looking for the ‘right’ flushing toilet

    Q: Our toilet is in the corner of our bathroom very close to a wall on the left hand side of the toilet. I have always been frustrated that the flushing handle is on the left side of the toilet, in a tight spot next to that wall. We’re planning to replace this toilet. Can I get a new toilet with the flushing handle on the right side of the toilet?

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category