Pet stores can't sell cats, dogs in Sarasota Co.

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 09:48:14-05
Buying that doggie in the window is quickly becoming a thing of the past. 
In Sarasota County, commissioners banned pet stores from selling dogs and cats. 
It's an effort to crack down on puppy mills and protect the consumer from buying unhealthy animals. 
Jennifer Hummel, the founder of Vintage Paws Sanctuary, regularly gets dogs that were bought in pet stores and end up in shelters. 
"When we call the microchip company, they say that the microchip was registered to a pet store, but often times, because our dogs are seniors, the pet stores are no longer in business," Hummel said.
She believes the new ordinance will reduce the number of homeless animals. 
"Long term, I think there is going to be a slow down effect if we can slow down the population and the over breeding of animals. There is just too many," Hummel said. 
Pet stores have one year to comply. 
Until then, Petland owner Brad Parker will keep selling. 
"There is a huge supply and demand. Everyone loves pets so they are going to continue to get pets," he said. 
But with pet sales being 80 percent of his business, he worries once he stops, so will his store.
"By asking us to stop selling them, the county could be asking us to go out of business, and we've been in business for 16 years at this same location," Parker said.
Forty other Florida counties have a similar ordinance and small business has suffered. 
In Palm Beach County, a pet store sued the government for violating their rights to do business, but lost and shut down. 
Hummel doesn't want that to happened here but says adopting and not shopping will only protect the consumer. 
"If you Google 'shitzi florida' there is going to be a shelter, so why would you spend thousands of dollars at a pet store getting a dog that often times is sick?" Hummel said.
You can read the entire ordinance here.