It’s a win for animal rights activists, and a (potential) loss for one small business owner, as the Cape Coral City Council made the decision to prohibit private pet sales to discourage pet mills.
The ordinance, a success after two failed attempts, is a reaction to concerns by animal rights activists on pet mills. These mills are known for their abusive treatment of pets, including overcrowding, poor sanitation, and pet fatalities.
“It’s a very important issue for Cape Coral,” said JoAnn Elardo, President of the Cape Coral Animal Shelter, who helped shepherd the ordinance through. “Our hearts are in this because we do not want animals inhumanely treated.”
Elardo explained that the ordinance will reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies by cutting down the supply in Cape Coral, as well as hopefully preventing trafficking of puppy mill puppies to other areas of Southwest Florida.
“This also prevents puppies from being transported through a trailer system,” Elardo stated. “Half of them don’t have air systems and die.”
However, the only company in the City that sells pets, in this case dogs, is Patriot Pets and Supplies, which does not obtain their dogs from these abusive mills.
“Since we’re the only one in the city that it would affect, it does feel a little like targeting,” said Shane Reinhardt, the Vice President of Patriot Pets.
Reinhardt stated that their pets only come from reputable sources and fought against the ordinance passing.
In passing this bill, Cape Coral has
Currently, 68 municipalities in Florida, as well as several cities in California and Maryland, have also proposed legislation to block the sale of pets in order to protect against pet mills. Cape Coral has successfully joined those cities in their prohibition, becoming the 69