“We don’t want Tallahassee regulating our stores, whether they’re pet stores or beauty parlors. We want control of the businesses in our community.”Daniella Levine Cava
Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava sponsored a resolution that was passed on Feb. 4, which aims to oppose any bills that preempt local government from regulating pet sales and to stop puppy mills. The resolution urges County lobbyists to advocate against legislature that would disallow Miami-Dade County and other local governments to regulate the sale of dogs and cats.
The resolution includes that pet sellers can only sell dogs and cats that are from qualified sources and requires the source to ensure that pets are vaccinated, along with other protections put in place.
However, according to Maria Levrant, the Chief of Constituent Services at Commissioner Levine Cava’s office, many powerful lobbyists in Tallahassee work for Pet Land, where preemption bills have been proposed. This is because most stores that sell pets get their pets from puppy mills, which are essentially breeding factories for dogs.
This is why, Levrant says, Commissioner Levine Cava has sponsored this resolution.
“We wanted to find a way to say we stand 100 percent against this” said Levrant. “We don’t want Tallahassee regulating our stores, whether they’re pet stores or beauty parlors. We want control of the businesses in our community.”
In Tallahassee, lobbyists get paid to say that they are preempting Miami-Dade County from controlling their businesses because Miami-Dade is the biggest county. This is why many bills supporting preemption have been proposed by Tallahassee lobbyists.
According to Levrant, however, regulating pet sales is simple. All pet sellers have to do is change their model. Instead of selling puppies, they can walk them, provide doggy daycare, or even groom. Levrant told the story of a pet store owner who did exactly that.
“His business was flourishing much more than when it sold puppies,” said Levrant. Other pet store owners willing to change their model can have the same success. Levrant says it may cost a little money, but nothing that can’t be made back.
On the receiving end, this resolution only has a positive effect on pet owners.
“There are wonderful breeders that are very conscientious,” said Levrant.
You can even find them locally. There is not a longer process or an extra cost. Through this resolution, pet owners will be reassured that their pets are healthy and protected.
Further, this resolution works to combat the dangers that Senate Bill 1698 and House Bill 1237 (The Florida Pet Protection Act) pose to pet seekers. This law diminishes any regulations local authorities may have when it comes to pet selling. This is extremely dangerous for pet seekers, whose pets may have diseases and be unprotected.
This new resolution aims to protect Miami residents and their pets from The Florida Pet Protection Act, as well as from the dangers of getting animals from puppy mills.
“We respect and want the best for pets,” said Levrant. “One of the ways to assure that pets are protected is that puppy mills go away.”