Sarasota County Commission considers banning the sale of dogs in pet stores

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SARASOTA, FLA. - Patrick Voleck makes his living with animals as the owner of Top Dog Pets and Grooming. He is worried about an ordinance being discussed by the Sarasota County Commissioners that could ban the sales of dogs and cats from retail pet stores like Petland, Puppies R Us, Puppy Town and Top Dog Pets.

“I’ve been labeled in this ordinance because I sell puppies” said Volek.

Although his primary business is dog grooming he also trains puppies and occasionally sells them from his store.

“Most of my dogs are requested from my existing customers and I, in turn, find them.”

He says the goal of the county commission is to eliminate the sale of dogs raised in puppy mills which he thinks is a great idea.

“I would like to see higher regulation as far as putting puppy farms out of business. I have no problem with that but to say that a retail store can’t sell an item, I think that is ludicrous.”

Voleck tells ABC 7 when he purchases puppies for resale, he only buys them from reputable breeders.

“There are people out there who think that any dog sold out of a pet store has to be from a puppy farm.”

When he does sell a dog he provides his customers with the name and number of the breeder where he purchased the puppy. Volek says a blanket ban on selling dogs from pet stores will do nothing to stop puppy mills.

“People are going to buy dogs from other counties, they are going to buy them from out of state and they are certainly going to buy them from off the Internet.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, County Commissioners voted unanimously to have their attorney provide a legal analysis of the ordinance and its effects before commissioners make any further decisions.