Public comments primarily support a proposal to make the sale of dogs and cats at Lexington pet stores illegal

Originally published by WEKU.

A Humane Pet Sales Ordinance proposal continues to move forward at Lexington City Hall. The topic attracted significant public comment during Tuesday’s Council work session.

The draft ordinance prohibits the sale of dogs and cats at retail pet stores. Several people spoke in favor of such a law. Lexington Veterinarian Lisa Warren said the selling of puppies or kittens in public areas is also a significant problem, often without spaying or neutering.

“We are trying desperately to catch up with the over population of dogs and cats in Kentucky, which is out of control. And I feel this ordinance would definitely help rein that in a little bit,” said Warren.

The proposed ordinance doesn’t provide for citations for sales in public spaces while it does include a $500 fine per violation at stores. Council amended the proposal to push back the effective date to November.

 Richard Getty, representing the Petland Store in Lexington, said that’s still not enough time for the retailer to reconfigure its business.

“Petland has a big monetary investment in the property, in the lease in what they brought to bear in opening this store. And I’m not sure six months is sufficient,” said Getty.

Among those speaking in favor of the proposal was Melodie Zentall with the Kentucky Coalition for Animal Protection. Louisville has acted on such a law and Zentall said, if Lexington doesn’t follow suit, it could attract other pet stores with animal sales. First reading is scheduled for this Thursday.

Diane Parrish is founder of Making a Difference Now. She told Council the ordinance is needed to protect citizens and to prevent Lexington from becoming a, quote, “safe haven for the puppy mill to pet store cruelty pipeline.” Ciara Hagedorn said she’s a veteran animal rescuer and added following the COVID pandemic the dog and cat overpopulation crisis intensified.

Getty, meanwhile, said Petland hasn’t faced any federal or state violations regarding its animals nor has the breeders it works with. While not seeking a fight, Getty said the pet retailer might consider going to court over the issue. The Council voted down a motion to table the ordinance by a six to eight count.

** WEKU is working hard to be a leading source for public service, and fact-based journalism. Monthly supporters are the top funding source for this growing nonprofit news organization. Please join others in your community who support WEKU by making your donation.

Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.