Kentucky city seeks to ban use of puppy mills

Elizabethtown City Council has passed an ordinance regarding the sale of dogs and cats in puppy mills.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – Elizabethtown has passed an ordinance respecting the sale of dogs and cats.

City Councilor Julia Springsteen said she was the first city in the state to make it a criminal offense to sell and buy animals in stores or in public space.

“It targets backyard breeders, it targets puppy mills and if more places in Kentucky can do that, we can push them back,” she said.

According to ASPCA, a puppy mill is a “large-scale commercial dog breeding operation, where the breeder puts profit above the welfare of the pets.”

“Kentucky has very few animal welfare laws and that just invites people in our area to do it,” Springsteen said.

Guardians of Rescue said they see around 2,000 animals entering through their organization per year.

“We see firsthand what we are dealing with in these retail stores,” said Robert Misseri, Guardians of Rescue. “These roadside flea markets are really brutal. It’s a great ordinance to start this process to stop it where people will go and adopt.”

The ordinance states that pet stores and commercial stores can work with any animal shelter and rescue to introduce pets for adoption. However, there must be an inscription detailing where the animals come from.

If you are considering a breeder, the ordinance suggests that you know the exact condition of where the animals are raised. City officials have said the new ordinance does not ban legitimate breeders, but ultimately wants consumers to think before they buy.

“You have to understand that they are careful and they take the money and that there are vet bills involved so we want to eliminate impulse buying,” Springsteen said.

Offenders will face one misdemeanor on their record and could see fines of up to $ 5,000 and possibly 90 days in jail. They could also face a separate charge for each animal offered for sale or profit.

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