Florida’s legislative session just came to a close, but not before state lawmakers took a stand for pet store pets, their families and local governments.
In early February, much to the displeasure of puppy-selling pet stores, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission’s Local Government Committee unanimously rejected Proposition 95, a proposal that would have gutted Florida’s cities and towns of their home-rule authority to ban the sale of cruelly-bred puppies and retail pet stores.
Most puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills, commercial pet-breeding facilities that prioritize profit over the health and wellbeing of animals. Dogs in these operations are often kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization.
When Prop. 95 failed, the pet sale industry made two last-ditch attempts to pass their pro-puppy-mill agenda in the final weeks of session by hijacking other, unrelated bills moving through the Legislature—including the state’s tax and agriculture bills—and amending them to include their harmful language.
After strong opposition from animal advocates, consumers and local governments, we are pleased to report both amendments were withdrawn from consideration.
If passed, the amendments would have undermined local efforts to protect dogs and consumers by invalidating the laws of 60 municipalities across Florida that have already taken a stand against this industry by passing local ordinances to keep cruelly-bred puppies of our pet stores. More than 250 localities across the country have enacted these or similar laws.
Last year in neighboring Georgia the ASPCA worked to defeat a similar measure backed by the puppy mill industry, and this year we’re fighting the industry again in the state to stop a bill that would strip local governments of their ability to regulate the sale of puppy mill puppies in their communities and instead hand that authority over to the federal government.
We want to thank the many ASPCA supporters who raised your voices on this issue!
If you haven’t yet, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be alerted when puppy mill dogs and animal-protection legislation in your state need your help.