October 7, 2019
The Collier County (FL) Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider several proposals that could restrict consumer choice for residents who wish to add a dog to the family. Concerned animal owners are encouraged to attend the meeting on October 8, 2019 to learn more about the proposals, and residents are urged to discuss their concerns with commissioners.
The proposal prepared by the county attorney seeks to ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops in unincorporated Collier County. Pet shops could provide space and care for pets owned by an animal control agency, humane society, or animal rescue agency for the purpose of rehoming animals to the public.
This proposal ignores recent advances in federal regulations by seeking to ban the retail sale of pets from licensed, inspected and regulated breeders that are transported by federally registered transporters. It would remove from the market the most regulated sources of pets, while promoting pets obtained, distributed, and transported by shelter/rescue sources that frequently lack this oversight.
Under Florida state law, dogs and cats purchased from pet stores are covered by FL Statute 828.29, which sets out requirements for dogs and cats transported or offered for sale in the state; establishes animal health requirements; and provides consumer protection guarantees for persons who obtain a dog or cat from a pet shop (puppy lemon law). Per 828.29(15), county-operated or city-operated animal control agencies and registered nonprofit humane organizations are exempt from these state requirements. The county attorney’s proposal potentially reduces state protections for pets and consumers by limiting pet stores to only offering dogs and cats procured from shelters/rescues.
Proposals presented by the pet store industry would require pet stores to acquire pets from specific sources that are subject to federal and Florida state law. However, definitions contained among these proposals for “hobby breeder”, “pet shop”, “retail sale”, and “United States Department of Agriculture licensed commercial breeder” are problematic and in some cases are contrary to federal, state, and/or local law.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. AKC actively promotes efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible ownership and have access to a pet that is right for them. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from shelter or rescue distributors.
What you can do:
Residents are urged to attend the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday morning to learn more about the proposals and to discuss concerns with their commissioners.
Board of County Commissioners Meeting
Tuesday, 10/08/2019 9:00 AM
Board of County Commissioners Chambers, Third Floor, Collier County Government Center, 3299 Tamiami Trail E., Naples, Florida 34112
William L. McDaniel, Jr.
Burt L. Saunders
For more information, please contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.