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Sarasota News Leader December 13, 2013 Page 14 prove pivotal in whether the board offers the commercial dog breeding operations that are ordinance for a public hearing. the source, those advocates say, for the vast majority of puppies sold by retail businesses. The draft version under review this week would prohibit the sale of the pets in retail But pet shop owners, employees and those stores, of which there are four in Sarasota who work in the industry say such a ban County. Under the ordinance, animals could would restrict people's ability to choose the be obtained only from an animal shelter, an pets they want. Owners dispute the assertion animal control agency, a humane society or that they get their puppies from inhumane directly from a breeder. "mills," and they say a better means should be found to address the problems associated If the county commissioners move ahead with with such operations. a version of the ordinance, Sarasota County would join local governments throughout TWO VOCAL SIDES the country, such as those in San Diego, CA; Austin, TX; and Hallandale Beach that have In November 2012, local animal advocates, recently passed laws restricting or banning including the grassroots group Sarasota in the sale of dogs and other pets in retail stores. Defense of Animals, began pushing for an ordinance in Sarasota County. Local animal rights advocates say prohibiting such sales in Sarasota County would help Backers say the pet store ban would encourreduce the number of so-called "puppy mills," age those seeking a family dog to consider a term they use to describe high-volume adopting from local animal shelters. Veterinarian Dr. Adam Cohen, who has worked for Petland since it opened in 1999, said the Fruitville Road store hired him to inspect animals before they are sold to families to 'make sure they are healthy and fit to be sold.' Photo by Roger Drouin

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