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By: Sharon Aron Baron
Broward County’s shelters are filled with so many dogs and cats that on Tuesday the commission amended a county ordinance allowing breeders one litter per adult animal each year.
Under the new amended county ordinance owners would have to acquire a permit from Animal Care and Adoption. The breeder permit would be required for anyone who sells, studs or breeds dogs or cats. The permit would be valid for one year and renewed annually.
The new ordinance pertains to commercial and hobby breeders. Revenue from licensing fees will fund animal sterilization programs in Broward County. The overall goal of the amended ordinance is to reduce the pet population in county animal shelters and provide regulations for commercial and hobby breeders to ensure a safe, healthy environment for pets and their owners.
“This is a start towards being a better no kill county. You have people who say they’re responsible breeders, but we have so many dogs who are pure breds in the shelter. They have to be coming from somewhere,” said Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, who brought the issue forward for Commission approval.
The permit sets several regulations. Among them, breeders would be required to keep records on the birth of each litter, keep veterinary records of rabies vaccinations and inoculations and provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of new owners acquiring a pet. Breeders would also be required to carry an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for intrastate sales of a dog or cat. Other regulations set the terms for inspection, enforcement and required methods for identifying the animal and medical records that may apply.
“My dogs are rescue dogs; one has congestive heart failure our other dog may follow. One of the reasons is they came from breeders, who overbred them and inner bred them,” said Commissioner Stacy Ritter who represents Coral Springs.
“I spoke to the community about this and everyone came to the table and helped craft this ordinance. We worked to make this fair to both sides and to me that is true democracy. We humanely kill more than 5,000 dogs a year in Broward County and a large number are purebreds,” said Vice Mayor Sharief.
“I am very supportive of this. It’s time and it is something that we need to do,” said Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness.
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