Orange County pet stores can no longer sell dogs, cats and rabbits

As of Wednesday, pet stores in Orange County are prohibited from selling dogs, cats and rabbits.

Orange County Government Animal Services will begin conducting store inspections this week to ensure compliance with the new order, officials said.

Proponents of pet store restrictions and groups such as the Humane Society argue that some animals sold in pet stores are the product of for-profit breeding. Instead, they encourage the adoption of animals from pet shelters.

Pet store revenues are largely driven by sales of puppies, kittens and rabbits, so the order banning the sale of these animals could put a number of places out of business. Some pet stores, including Petland, had sought an injunction to prevent the ordinance from being enforced in Orange County, but it was denied by a judge.

As the puppies played in their paddocks at Petland in Waterford Lakes, owner Ben Hoofnagle had a tough day.

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“Incredible disappointment of course. It’s terrible to hear that you have 1 year before your business is closed,” he told FOX 35 News last year.

He said he was forced to close after 17 years due to the commissioners’ decision.

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On Wednesday, Petland’s website removed Orange County stores from its “available puppies” section. The only store in Orange County licensed to still sell puppies and kittens is Chews A Puppy on W. Colonial Drive in Ocoee.

Florida State Humane Society Director Kate MacFall called it a winner for consumers and puppies, saying pet stores source from puppy mills and calling them inhumane breeding facilities.

“You’ve heard of a lot of people who came home with a puppy from a store and ended up with thousands and thousands of dollars in vet bills, or in some cases the puppy died,” MacFall said. , adding that pets can still be adopted. by responsible breeders and animal shelters.