As we told you this week, the Village of Wellington has voted to ban the commercial sale of dogs and cats. The ordinance, which went into effect immediately, does not affect recognized shelters or rescue organizations, such as Big Dog Ranch Rescue, which is located in Wellington.
Big Dog volunteer Sara Andrews paid us a visit on Wednesday, the day after that ban was voted into effect.
"What people don't understand about where these dogs come from is the conditions in which they are bred in. We are trying to end, also, the overpopulation of dogs and cats that we currently have in the United States. It's a huge, huge problem."
We asked her more about the conditions of pets that come from so-called puppy mills.
"Any place where they breed dogs on a mass scale...these dogs live in conditions where there feet never hit the ground. These dogs are in-bred."
She says, as a result, you often purchase a dog from a store, and that puppy dies young from disease, while many others wind up in shelters or rescues.
"People buy puppies on impulse at these puppy stores and that's one of the big things we're trying to control. 40 percent of these dogs actually end up in shelters..."
And if you think a ban on stores selling dogs and cats is bad for business, take this into account.
"I've heard a lot of backlash, even people saying 'Oh, you're taking away from job creation'...but actually with as many of these dogs that end up back in the system, back in the shelters, that's more tax dollars that you're spending, controlling the animal population."
Sara hopes the ban results in more people adopting from Big Dog Ranch.
Wellington is just the latest local municipality to pass such an ordinance. Lake Worth did so already, as well as several cities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
Click Here for more on adopting or fostering a dog and to find out other ways you can help the mission of Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington.
Photo: Big Dog Ranch Rescue