TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance that tightens pet retail sale regulations throughout the county.

The board approved an ordinance Wednesday that no longer allows commercial pet stores to sell dogs and cats that come from industrial breeders.

In 2017, county commission passed an ordinance saying new pet stores could only sell dogs or cats from rescue organizations or animal shelters. Existing pet stores were grandfathered into that ordinance. However, in September of 2019, more than 300 dogs found in deplorable conditions were seized from a commercial Tampa breeder.

A month after that, the board took another look at the ordinance and proposed getting rid of the grandfather privilege, which means all pet stores would not be able to sell dogs or cats from industrial breeders.

Wednesday, close to 50 people spoke against this issue and more than 10 supported it.

“It is not necessary for pet stores to sell puppy mill puppies to remain in business,” Kelly Wilson said.

“With this proposed ban, you would be turning a controlled market into a vacuum,” a woman who was against the commission passing this ordinance said.

Now that the commission has passed the ordinance, all pet stores in Hillsborough County have one year to comply to the new rules.

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