Sarasota County puppy mill ban going into effect in July

A total of 61 dogs were found at a puppy mill in Webster County. (Source: WALB)
A total of 61 dogs were found at a puppy mill in Webster County. (Source: WALB)
Updated: Apr. 10, 2019 at 11:46 PM EDT
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SARASOTA (WWSB) - Petland in Sarasota County has until July 1st to stop the sales of dogs and cats.

The countywide ordinance was put into effect three years ago in an effort to eliminate puppy mills or kitten factories, but will now be enforced this summer after the end of a lawsuit filed by Petland in Sarasota that fought it.

And for many pet lovers in Sarasota against puppy mills, this day could not have come soon enough. “As an animal rights activist, it’s a big win," said pet owner and animal activist Jessica Patterson.

She says it was also a big win for her dog Penny and many other animals.

“These are helpless animals. These aren’t people who can take care of themselves to some extent. These are just puppies and cats that are abused this way," said local attorney Morgan Bentley. He worked with the the Sarasota Defense of Animals to help structure the ordinance. He says reputable breeders who comply with the rules are not the problem.

“So the whole goal is if you’re a breeder and transparent to the public, they can see how dogs and cats are kept, then you’re still allowed to be in business," said Bentley.

The ordinance has been controversial for years. One side saying they are trying to save animals and protesting, while the other says the ban would kill local business.

Meanwhile, Patterson says there are other animals just waiting to be adopted. She said, “There are so many wonderful shelters and rescues and there a like 6 to 7 million animals put down every year and there are so many great animals.”

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