After two weeks of consideration, the Sandy Springs city council passed a new ordinance that it says will promote the adoption of rescue animals.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the council approved an ordinance which bans the sale of dogs and cats obtained from large-scale commercial breeders — commonly knowns as “puppy mills” — by pet stores.
The ordinance allows pet stores to host pet adoptions with the animals obtained from an animal care facility, such as a shelter, or animal rescue organization. The ordinance was first introduced at a city work session on Nov. 7 by assistant city clerk Kelly Bogner and city attorney Dan Lee.
As part of the ordinance, pet stores must maintain records to document the source of all dogs and cats made available for sale, also posting the name of the animal care facility or rescue organization utilized in a visible space.
“By limiting pet stores to adoptions only, we reduce the opportunity for unethical, large-scale breeders — those operating puppy mills — to profit on the inhumane treatment of animals,” Lee said. “In addition, the ordinance promotes animal adoption, helping those animals in our shelters find loving homes.”
The ordinance does not include any language that would prevent someone from purchasing a dog or cat directly from a private breeder.
In a letter of support of the ordinance, the Humane Society of the United States wrote that it has worked with more than 240 localities to enact similar ordinances. Sandy Springs is the sixth city in Georgia to adopt this type of ordinance, joining cities like Canton and Holly Springs.
Pet stores selling animals in violation of the ordinance can be fined up to $500 per violation. The ordinance went into effect upon its approval.
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