Florida is following a trend that was set by San Francisco, where the city banned Puppy Mills from selling their animals to local Pet Stores and many puppies from the shelters often go without a home and are put to sleep. This means more puppies get out of shelters and those spaces can free up to help with dogs that are injured or in need of serious care that many of these shelters can provide.

Animal ordinance

The ordinance proposes that new pet stores can sell cats and dogs from local animal shelters or rescue centers. Pet stores are barred from buying their animals from puppy mills or large-scale breeders.

But as for existing pet stores that have establishments in the country, they would be able to operate unrestrained.

The problem was addressed by Commissioner Ken Hagan who proposed the ban. He stated that breeders often incorporate abusive tactics and have their animals live in filthy conditions. But that when you go to buy one of those adorable puppies, they don’t look like they are covered in grime and filth. While most of the suppliers are not in Florida, shutting down some of the commercial sales guarantees that some of the cats and dogs being adopted in Florida are not coming from large-scale breeders.

“It doesn’t make sense to import animals when we already have thousands of unwanted animals,” said Commissioner Ken Hagan to Tampa Bay Times.

48 other Florida jurisdictions have already passed legislation similar to the large-scale ordinance proposed by Commissioner Hagan.

My puppy, my choice

The ordinance has already proposed several backlashes from local puppy stores and sellers in Tampa. Outcries from owners such as William Roland from Puppies Tampa and employees from All About Puppies took to protesting wearing light blue shirts that read: "my puppy, my choice." All About Puppies has three existing commercial pet stores in Hillsborough County.

Advocates against puppy mills said to those concerned about losing their business that they can still sell rescued dogs and cats. However, several commissioners agreed that having people shut down their businesses because they buy from breeders could mean less pet stores in Florida and more animals still being put down. A grandfather clause was established with those store owners and employees to get their pets from local shelters without having to shut down their businesses.