By Cindy Jackson
July 20, 2020
According to the Humane Society of the United States, (HSUS), Florida has the highest number of consumer complaints submitted to them regarding sick puppies purchased from puppy mills.
Nassau County has effectively closed the door on such establishments with the passage of a new ordinance on July 16, 2020. The Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to ban puppy mills and kitten factories.
The ordinance does this by prohibiting the retail sale of a dog or cat from a commercial establishment in addition to banning the retail sale of any dog or cat from any and all public thoroughfares, public common areas and/or flea markets.
The ordinance also contains some “teeth” in the form of violations may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor with a fine assessed up to $500.00 per day/per animal — or by imprisonment in the County jail not to exceed 60 days. It goes on to say that each animal produced, reared, bred, kept or sold in violation of this ordinance shall be deemed a separate offense.
In addition, a Certificate of Source will now be required for each and every dog or cat offered for adoption or transfer. A local breeder must post and maintain a Certificate of Source for each dog or cat offered for barter or sale.
Add to that is additional language that says “any law enforcement officer or animal control officer may, at any time, request to review copies of such certificates and, upon such request, . . . such certificates [must be presented] at that time and without delay.”
Reached after the conclusion of the BOCC meeting, Tim Maguire, Director of Nassau County Animal Services, had this to say, “I am very proud of our County and its leadership for passing this ordinance.”
• Animal control regulations are necessary to protect the public from unvaccinated, diseased, stray, roaming, dangerous, wild, or exotic animals.
• Animal control regulations establish uniformity in the control and eradication of rabies.
• Animal control regulations help abate nuisance created by animals that interfere with the enjoyment of property or the peace and safety of the community.
• Animal control regulations help regulate animal population.
• Animal control regulations protect animals from abuse or conditions harmful to their well-being.