ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Almost every commercial pet store in Orange County will no longer be allowed to sell dogs, cats and rabbits, starting Wednesday.
An ordinance that passed with a 4-3 vote last summer is now in effect.
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The health services department said the ordinance was drafted due to dogs and cats in large-scale pet stores having their health and welfare disregarded in order to maximize profits.
Supporters said it will stop puppy mills that commonly breed thousands of often sick puppies and sell them to stores nationwide.
People in the county will still be able to foster and rescue pets from local animal shelters and animal rescues. Pet stores will also be allowed to provide space and shelter for local rescues and animal shelters.
Three Orlando-area stores challenged the rule, saying it would bankrupt their businesses, but a judge allowed the ban to stay.
Only one store in Ocoee is exempt from the rule after city commissioners voted to opt out.