In an effort to discourage red breeders and operators of so-called puppy mills, Elizabethtown City Council has been asked to consider an ordinance banning the sale of dogs and cats in retail stores and public parking lots. .
It was suggested by City Councilor Julia Springsteen, an animal advocate, as another way to tackle pet overpopulation.
A lawyer who has done extensive research on animal welfare laws, Springsteen was a founding member of Friends of the Hardin County Animal Shelter and was appointed to the Kentucky Animal Control Advisory Board earlier this year. She is behind it and she clearly qualifies as an authority on the matter.
Similar laws have been passed in 400 communities and 30 states, according to the Humane Society of the United States, but Elizabethtown could be at the forefront of this issue in Kentucky.
Since no local pet store sells dogs and cats, Springsteen said now is the time for the idea.
âAs we don’t interfere with any current business, we don’t have to grandfather anyone,â she said. “It’s just good timing.”
Mike McNutt, director of Hardin County Animal Care and Control, said he can think of recent occasions where a law of this nature could have been useful locally and sees it as a welcome tool.
During the board discussions, an important question was raised regarding applicability. Comparing it to the effectiveness of an ordinance in eliminating the nightly use of consumer fireworks, City Councilor Marty Fulkerson rightly said the city does not need more regulations on the books that cannot be applied.
But that does not apply here.
The fireworks ordinance relies on neighbors complaining about neighbors. This creates a lasting potential tension. This regulation would give all pet lovers the opportunity to contact animal control or the police when a dishonest breeder is at work. It’s a whole law enforcement network.
This is a proactive measure. It is about fixing a problem before it develops and is adopted.
This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.