Freeholders Call On Towns To Restrict Sales of Cats and Dogs…

first_imgBy Joseph SapiaFREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has passed a resolution calling on county municipalities to adopt ordinances putting severe restrictions on the sale of dogs and cats.The resolution, passed 5-to-0 on Jan. 21, asks towns to require pet shops to sell dogs and cats only obtained from or displayed in cooperation with animal-care facilities or rescue organizations. Also, it asks towns to disallow pet shops from selling dogs or cats younger than eight weeks.“I think it’s phenomenal,” said Janice Fisher, who coordinates the Puppy Mill Awareness Campaign in New Jersey for the 1,200-member Friends of Animals United (FAUN) New Jersey.Fisher, a Manasquan resident, worked with Freeholder John P. Curley to get the resolution passed.“We need to take care and not abuse pets and animals,” Curley said.Curley said he motioned for the resolution to be passed at the Jan. 21 meeting and other freeholders came aboard.“We’re thrilled,” said Fisher, a former paralegal who lives in Manasquan. “I think our freeholders are wonderful and, in particular, Freeholder Curley. He took the time to listen, research the matter, (and) talked to his colleagues.”“We’re so grateful,” said Danielle Mania, development manager for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “We’re trying to stop overbreeding, puppy mills, the abuse that goes on in puppy mills.”Monmouth County SPCA said puppy mills, or large-scale breeders, emphasize profit over animal welfare and breed pets with health or behavioral issues. Instead, pets should be bought from reputable hobby breeders, shelters or rescues, according to Monmouth County SPCA.Calpurrnia, an approximately 3-year-old female awaiting adoption at the Monmouth County SPCA.“Monmouth County took a strong stand against the cruel puppy mill industry, while promoting responsible breeders and pet adoption,” said Kathleen Schatzmann, state director for the Humane Society of the United States.Gary Hager, who sells dogs at his Bark Avenue Puppies store in Red Bank, believes this type of legislation is flawed in various ways – such as painting with a broad brush and taking in well-operated pet stores, along with going at animal abuse the wrong way.“They’re looking down the wrong end of the telescope,” Hager said. “They’re kind of pointing the gun in the wrong direction. You’re not going to stop a puppy mill by stopping a pet store.”Bark Avenue deals with only about 10 to 15 “five-star breeders” who are “all vetted,” Hager said, adding that he keeps only 12 to 15 puppies at a time at his store. Certain dogs that consumers want are not available at shelters and it is unrealistic for people to deal directly with quality breeders who may be more than 1,000 miles away, he said.Hager compared the puppy mill issue to chicken farm operations, both of which have come under fire for abusive ways. All egg farmers have not been shut down, so why shut down all puppy sellers?Rather, Hager said, go after the bad players – puppy mills with abusive methods or pet stores with bad records.“Go after the puppy mill-breeder operations where they are,” he said. “Why throw all (pet stores) under the bus?”Of the county’s 53 municipalities, only Fisher’s hometown of Manasquan has such an ordinance, she said. Of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities, an estimated 25 have this type of ordinance, Fisher said.“This resolution will encourage towns,” Fisher said. “It will embolden.”The county resolution includes a sample ordinance.County Counsel Andrea I. Bazer said Monmouth County followed Camden County’s lead on the resolution.“The county doesn’t have the ability to enforce, but the municipalities do,” Bazer said.Camden, Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer counties have passed resolutions, Fisher said.“I had received a great deal of background from Janice and her group,” Curley said. “I was very pleased to bring that to the freeholders and the educational process to the municipalities. It was a pleasure working with that group and I thank the SPCA.”last_img

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