A ban on puppy mills could be at risk if a Florida House tax bill passes, which would make it legal to sell puppy mill dogs statewide.
Animal advocates say House Bill 7087 has disguised language that is hard for the regular person to understand, that could ultimately end puppy mill bans, even if local jurisdictions have ordinances to outlaw them.
The bill doesn't ever use the word, 'puppy' or 'puppy mills', but on page 38 — in the underlined section there is a part that talks about the sale of taxable personal property.
"And, under the law, animals are still considered personal property," said Lindsay Larris, attorney for Animal Legal Defense Fund out of California.
Larris says they work to protect the lives of animals through the legal system by tracking legislation across the country.
Office staffers with Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan tells ABC Action News that this bill would negate Hillsborough County's ability to outlaw puppy mills.
For them, it would take away local regulatory powers despite local ordinances that would be passed, like the county's pet store ban that passed last year.
Under the ordinance, three pet stores were grandfathered in that have to follow sets of guidelines.
Those on the other side argue that ordinances by local officials can hurt small businesses.
With less than two weeks left in the legislature, it is unclear if this bill will make it through.
In October, California became the first state to completely ban puppy mills statewide.