New Proposal Aims to Leash Pet Sales at New Braunfels ‘Puppy Mills’ | Community Alert

An amendment to the ordinance that would ban retail pet stores from obtaining and selling cats and dogs from commercial breeding establishments took a step forward Wednesday night.

The recommendation of the New Braunfels Animal Services Advisory Board is now before City Council for consideration in two readings.

The proposed order would allow a retail pet store to sell, lease, offer for sale, trade, give for consideration, or transfer a cat or dog obtained from an animal shelter or an animal welfare organization.

In addition, the proposal would require pet stores to keep a record of every cat and dog from an animal shelter or animal welfare organization for at least one year from the date of sale or transfer and to make these records available to the city upon request.

The recommendation comes after the Advisory Council held previous public hearings in October, December and March.

The recommendation also comes after Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area executive director Sarah Hammond, also a member of the advisory board, told the Herald-Zeitung last week that the Morningside Drive shelter was overcapacity and “in crisis. “.

“We try to make sure that (retail pet stores) source their pets from a reputable place and we make sure that whatever they sell the dog and cat will come home safely,” said Bryan Ruiz, the city’s neighborhood services manager. who sits on the advisory committee as the city’s representative. “From our previous meetings, that was our main focus, was to discuss that if anyone wanted to sell them, either from there or from the Humane Society, it would be through safe means.”

The primary concern behind the proposed amendment, advisory board members said, is animal safety and limiting the activity of commercial breeders, also known as puppy mills, defined by the Humane Society of the United States as ” an inhumane commercial dog breeding facility in which the health of the dogs is ignored in order to keep overhead low and maximize profits.

The Humane Society estimates that 10,000 puppy mills are active in the country and 500,000 dogs are kept solely for breeding purposes in puppy mills.

In recent public hearings, discussions among board members, residents, animal welfare advocates and shop owners have focused on a local business, Puppyland, which has started selling puppies from its New Braunfels MarketPlace storefront in August.

This discussion continued on Wednesday. Speaking to board members, resident Wendy Wymer said a puppy she bought for $4,500 from the company suffered from congenital and other illnesses, which prompted her to be treated by veterinarians and an animal specialist.

“We’re doing everything we can for her,” Wymer said, trying to keep her cool. ” It’s my baby. It’s horrible. She is drooling. It drips from his nose. His head is down; his ears are lowered. She can barely move, but we’re doing everything we can to get her better.

Despite health issues and vet bills, Wymer said she wasn’t interested in taking the pup back to the store or seeking compensation.

Although other commenters have claimed that Puppyland sources animals from puppy mills, store owner Kayla Kerr denied the accusations, saying the store only sells animals from responsible breeders licensed by the USDA verifies breeder inspection reports and provides health guarantees.

She asked council members to consider changing the wording of the proposed ordinance.

“We worked very hard with you to come up with different avenues of language that would regulate both us and other pet stores,” Kerr said. “You have this possibility. We do not use puppy mills. We do not source puppies from puppy mills. We’re not just any pet store – we have high standards. We care about our puppies and the parents they come from.

Kerr added that the store has sold about 400 or 500 puppies since it opened.

The proposed change would not affect private residences that are not generally open to the public, animal shelters or facilities operated by animal welfare organizations.

The proposed amendment defines animal welfare organizations as any nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Service regulations and takes unwanted, abandoned, abused, or stray animals and places them in permanent or foster homes.

The proposal changes the definition of a retail pet store as a for-profit retail establishment or place of business where cats or dogs are sold, leased, offered for sale, traded or given away for consideration.

If passed by city council, the ordinance will go into effect after a one-year grace period.

About Chuck Keeton

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