SANFORD, Fla. – Signs saying "no puppy mill sales" filled the audience at the Seminole County commissioners meeting on Tuesday, as a new ordinance was approved to ban the sale of dogs or cats bred through puppy mills or kitten factories.
The ordinance does not affect local reputable breeders from selling directly to pet owners, but it does require any retail business looking to sell cats or dogs to use animals that come from shelters.
With a sea of signs behind her, Winter Springs resident Carla Wilson was proud to see the idea she proposed to the county about a year ago come to fruition.
"When I saw so many communities around the country were adopting similar ordinances, and we didn't have pet stores here in Seminole County, I thought the time was right," she said.
Wilson points to the overpopulation of animals in Central Florida as a reason why this ordinance needed to be put in place.
"Seminole County residents really had no business buying animals from pet stores, when you look at the numbers of animals euthanized each year from Central Florida shelters," she said.
Right now in Seminole County, there aren't any pet stores that would be directly affected by this ordinance, which is why county leaders say now was the perfect time to push the idea.
"There have been opportunities for puppy mills to come into the county; we just want to make sure it's not going to be ours," Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine said.
The group behind the ordinance now hopes cities in Seminole County will follow suit with ordinances of their own.