Pet sale prohibition should be adopted


In an effort to discourage rouge breeders and operators of so-called puppy mills, Elizabethtown City Council has been asked to consider an ordinance that would prohibit sales of dogs and cats in retail stores and public parking lots.

It was proposed by Councilwoman Julia Springsteen, an advocate for animals, as another means to address pet overpopulation.

An attorney, who has done extensive research into animal welfare laws, Springsteen was a founding member of Friends of the Hardin County Animal Shelter and was appointed earlier this year to the Kentucky Animal Control Advisory Board. She’s behind it and she clearly qualifies as an authority on this subject.

Similar laws have been passed in 400 communities and 30 states, according to the Humane Society of the United States, but Elizabethtown could be on the forefront of this issue in Kentucky.

Since no local pet supply stores sell dogs and cats, Springsteen said the time is right for this idea.

“Since we’re not interfering with any current businesses, we don’t have to grandfather in anybody,” she said. “It’s just good timing.”

Mike McNutt, director of Hardin County Animal Care and Control, said he could think of recent occasions when a law of this nature could have been valuable locally and sees it as a welcomed tool.

In the council’s discussions, one important question raised was about enforceability. Comparing it to the effectiveness of an ordinance in eliminating nightly usage of consumer fireworks, Councilman Marty Fulkerson correctly said the city does not need more regulations on the books that cannot be enforced.

But that does not apply here.

The fireworks ordinance relies on neighbors complaining about neighbors. It creates a potential lasting tension. This regulation would equip all pet lovers with the ability to contact animal control or police when a rogue breeder is at work. That’s quite an enforcement network.

This is a proactive measure. It’s about dealing with a problem before it develops and should be adopted.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.


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