Cape Coral withdraws ordinance to ban retail pet sales

Read the original article by Sarah Jarvis at here.

Cape Coral City Council has withdrawn a proposed ordinance to ban the retail sale of cats and dogs in the city.

District 6 council member Rick Williams, who originally suggested the ordinance, was unable to attend Monday’s council meeting but had requested it be withdrawn. It had been scheduled for a Monday public hearing.

“I believe he needs to do some more work on that, or has asked to do some additional work on it,” Mayor Joe Coviello said, before council voted unanimously to withdraw the proposal.

The ordinance was an attempt to take demand away from commercial breeding facilities known as puppy and kitten mills, though it appears the measure would affect just one pet store in the city.

Shane Reinhardt, an owner of Patriot Pets & Supplies, said he occasionally sells puppies and they don’t come from puppy mills, but from private breeders who are all registered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other pet supply stores, such as PetSmart, host adoption events but do not sell cats and dogs in their stores.

Reinhardt, who opposes the measure, said he hadn’t heard anything from Williams or the city about altering the proposal or bringing it back up for a public hearing.

“Everybody should have the opportunity to go wherever they please to get a new addition for their family,” Reinhardt previously told The News-Press. “I would like to provide them that opportunity.”

Some Cape Coral residents previously expressed support for the proposal, as did the Gulf Coast Humane Society in Fort Myers, noting overcrowding in the facility’s shelter.

Williams was not immediately available for comment Tuesday, and city Public Information Specialist Maureen Buice said she was not sure if the council member plans on reintroducing the measure at a later date.

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