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Collier County Commissioners vote on pet ban

Posted at 4:12 PM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 22:55:15-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — On Tuesday, the Collier County Commissioners considered a proposed ordinance change, that would ban the retail sale of animals in pet shops.

This all started from a Naples woman's public petition, which boasted hundreds of signatures.

A big concern for many who signed the document, was where the animals were coming from.

Some feel that the retail sale of pets opens the door for animal mills.

According to commissioners, the Tuesday's meeting actually broke a record, with more than 100 people signed up to speak in a "non-budgetary meeting."

Those in favor of the ban, like Jonathan Foerester of the Humane Society Naples, say there's really no need for the practice.

"We feel like there are a lot of homeless animals out there, we don't need to add animals for sale into our community," said Foerester.

But those who would be directly impacted by the proposal, like Luis Marquez, argue that their animals are safely acquired and well taken care of.

"I hate puppy mills...I've dedicated my last three years to try to shut down puppy mills," said Marquez.

Marquez owns Petland stores in two states and plans to open another location, in Naples, on December 1.

After hours of discussion, the county commissioners voted 3-2 to not to ban the sale of pets in the county.

They did, however, promise to put tighter regulations in place for the practice.

It's a process the Humane Society Naples says is easier said than done.

"It's a complicated issue, there are a lot of different moving pieces and so it's going to be tough to find regulations that are going to work and that will help the community," said Foerester.