Lexington council members get briefed on humane pet sales ordinance proposal

Originally published by WEKU.

A proposed ordinance to prohibit the sale of dogs and cats at retail pet stores is moving along at Lexington City Hall. It emerged from the Social Services and Public Safety Committee Tuesday.

The prohibition, if given final approval, would affect two of the 15 pet stores in Lexington. Todd Blevins, Kentucky director of the Humane Society of the U.S., said too often dogs and cats sold at pet stores come from large-scale commercial breeders; puppy and kitten mills.

“I’m guessing you all may have heard from some of these folks who have purchased a sick animal themselves and again have been left holding the bag. They have the most direct stake in all of this,” said Blevins.

Blevins noted that comes with sometimes substantial vet bills. The humane society rep added such a law wouldn’t mean affected stores would have to close, just stop selling dogs and cats. And Blevins said people interested in pure breds could still go directly to an individual breeder. It could pertain to other transactions as well.

“If you bring your litter to the flea market and the individual buys at the flea market, that would be unlawful. But, if the same breeder has the individual come to the direct sale, like where the puppies are, that would be totally fine,” said Blevins.

The proposed ordinance calls for a $500 fine per animal sold. Based on laws in other communities, Blevins said that’s typically enough of a fine to deter those kinds of sales. Retail outlets could still coordinate with local humane societies for pet sales. The Humane Society rep noted animal control employees would be responsible for enforcement as they already conduct inspections. And Blevins added if passed, stores would have a month to come into compliance.

Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.