The ‘Puppy Mill’ ordinance in Sarasota, which passed in January, could be in jeopardy after a pet store filed a lawsuit to overturn it.
The ordinance stops the local sale of animals brought in from puppy mills or kitten factories. Commercial pet stores have until January 27th to get rid of their dogs and cats.
The lawsuit, filed by Petland, is calling the ordinance unconstitutional.
“It creates an exemption for local pet sellers and allows those sellers to sell puppies but down right ban retail stores such as Petland,” says Attorney Thomas Shults.
So pretty much a local breeder who breeds an animal in the county can still sell them, in certain circumstances.
“Petland will suffer irreparable harm for which it has an inadequate remedy at law,” the lawsuit reads.
The new rules have been controversial since the beginning. One side saying they’re trying to save animals, while the other says the ban would kill their business.
Meanwhile at the Humane Society of Sarasota, dogs like Coal are just waiting to be adopted -- 150 to be exact. And of course, you can’t forget the cats!
Autumn Steiner with the shelter says Sarasota County has been great with raising awareness about adopting. They also strive to make sure animals are treated humanely.
That's some of the reasoning behind the county approving the 'puppy mill' ordinance.
“Just because they may not be purebred animals or we don't know what their past life was, they still have a lot of love and potential,” says Steiner.
If the county wins, Petland's Attorney says the store would have to shut down.