The Pinellas County Board of Commissioners is scheduled vote on problematic changes to the county animal ordinance at its February 21, 2017 meeting.
Among other provisions of concern, the proposed ordinance would define a person who sells one litter of cats or dogs per year as “pet dealer” and require compliance with kennel and breeder permitting requirements, zoning, and unannounced inspections.
A “Hobby Breeder” would be defined as “a person or entity that is a current member of a dog, cat or kennel club at the national, state, or local level that is, or is affiliated with, a nationally recognized organization and that houses or breeds dogs or cats in or on the property of a private residence”. A hobby breeder would be required to purchase an annual permit, display the permit number in all advertising, submit a “point of sale” certificate for each sale, and would be limited to the sale of two litters or 20 animals per year.
Certain requirements and procedures for pet breeders, including care and sanitation requirements, would be established by the Department of Animal Services with no stakeholder or community oversight. Further, permits could be suspended or revoked at the discretion of the director. It is unclear if an appeal procedure is provided.
The proposed ordinance would reduce oversight of “rescue groups” by striking a section of existing law which requires that records of animals impounded or picked up by such groups must be made available for inspection by the Department of Animal Services at the impounding agency, at any time, upon the department’s request. This is potentially problematic for owners of lost pets that are found or impounded by such groups.
Pet owners are urged to contact their county commissioners in advance of the meeting and also to attend the public hearing to express their concerns. Persons wishing to speak should arrive early and complete a speaker card. Each speaker may speak up to three minutes. Comments may also be submitted by calling (727) 464-3458.
Click here for contact information for county commissioners.
Click here to view the proposed ordinance.
Click here for information about participating in the public hearing, or call (727) 464-3363 for information.
Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners
February 21, 2017, 2:00 p.m.
BCC Assembly Room
315 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Board of County Commissioners Contact Information:
Janet C. Long, Chair
(727) 464-3365 Tel
Kenneth T. Welch, Vice Chair
(727) 464-3614 Tel
Pat Gerard, Commissioner
District 2 – Countywide
(727) 464-3360 Tel
District 3 – Countywide
(727) 464-3363 Tel
Dave Eggers, Commissioner
District 4 – Countywide
(727) 464-3276 Tel
Karen Williams Seel, Commissioner
(727) 464-3278 Tel
John Morroni, Commissioner
(727) 464-3568 Tel
For more information, please contact AKC Government Relations at 919-816-3720 firstname.lastname@example.org.