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Gulf Coast Life

Sarasota Considers Ban on Pet Stores Selling Animals from Commercial Breeders

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Sarasota Commissioners are revisiting a proposed ordinance to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits that come from commercial breeders.  If adopted, Sarasota would become the first county in the state to impose such a rule.  The Herald Tribune reports, commissioners heard nearly four hours of testimony on the proposal Monday. 

Supporters of the ordinance say area shelters are overwhelmed and that it would help reduce the number animals in need of forever homes.  They also accuse retail pet stores of acquiring animals, mainly dogs, from puppy mills where animals are sick and often kept in poor conditions.  Opponents of the ordinance, including Pet Store owners, refute that claim saying they purchase from reputable breeders and that the proposed ordinance could put them out of business in the region.  They also say that people shopping for a specific breed won’t go to shelters, but rather, will turn to backyard breeders who are poorly regulated.  Sarasota County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the issue Jan. 27, 2016.  We’ll hear from both sides.

Guests:

Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign

Edwin Sayers, President of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council

Joe Watson, President and CEO of Petland

John Davis has been a full-time Reporter/Producer for WGCU since 2009. He is the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition and producer and host for WGCU’s radio talk program Gulf Coast Live! John came to WGCU as an intern in 2007, and is now reporting on a broad spectrum of topics of interest to Southwest Florida.  Prior to joining WGCU, he worked at WDUQ-FM in Pittsburgh, PA covering local government and general assignments.John studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Florida Gulf Coast University. His work has garnered awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and a first place award and “Best in Show” from the Florida Associated Press for his investigative work in 2011.