Miami commissioners voted Monday to establish a six-month moratorium on the retail sale of dogs to investigate whether city pet shops are getting their canines from puppy mills.
The moratorium and investigation could lead to an outright ban of storefront sales of dogs and cats in Miami. Commissioner Francis Suarez, who brought the issue to the commission, stressed that the moratorium won’t affect any currently operating pet shops.
“This is something I think is the right thing to do,” said Suarez.
Currently, there are nine pet shops in the city, according to Suarez. Code enforcement officers will visit them to find out where the shopkeepers get their animals.
A spokesman for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida said the dogs are coming from puppy mills, commercial breeding facilities accused of systematically abusing animals.
None of Miami’s pet shop owners spoke during the hearing.
The commission’s action comes after Miami-Dade County passed a new law requiring pet stores to publicize where they buy their animals. Activists on Thursday, however, said that law doesn’t go far enough.