Cape Coral considers ban of retail sales of cats and dogs

The City of Cape Coral is making another attempt to ban retailers from selling cats and dogs. But one store owner says it’s targeting his shop unfairly. We looked into the debate over protecting pets and consumer choice.

Cape Coral City Council is scheduled to have its final public hearing Monday for the ordinance that would ban retail sales of cats and dogs if it gets approved.

Jennifer Galloway, executive director of Gulf Coast Humane Society, says dogs fill every kennel at their facility

“They’re coming from everywhere,” Galloway said.

Galloway believes the ban proposal in Cape Coral could help more of the potential pets find new homes.

”We need folks to come into the rescues and the shelters and adopt from them,” Galloway said.

This is not the first time the city has attempted to pass an ordinance that would ban retailers from selling cats and dogs. The city said previous ordinance attempting to do the same thing have failed because the council wants to make it fairer to pet businesses. The main goal of the ordinace is to prevent the continuation and operations of puppy mills.

”They’re mistreated,” Galloway said. “They’re not raised properly.”

Wayne Olsen hopes the ban passes.

“These pet stores that sell dogs get their dogs from puppy mills,” Olsen said. “And I don’t like it.”

But Shane Reinhardt, who has owned a pet retail business in Cape for nearly 10 years, said it won’t save pets from the pound, but it will hurt his business.

“About 30 to 40 percent of our sales come from dogs overall,” Olsen said.

Reinhardt says all those dogs come from reputable breeders and pass state health regulations

“Why am I against it? Because I’m the only store affected by it,” Reinhardt said.

“None of our dogs have actually made it to Lee County animal services ever,” Reinhardt said.

Galloway said Reinhardt’s pet store is less of the focus for the city ordinance.

“It’s about not letting those big box stores that sell mass amounts of puppies,” Galloway said.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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