Ordinance would ban retailers from selling animals from puppy mills

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Retailers selling animals in Athens may soon be required to sell only cats and dogs that come from animal shelters and non-profit rescue organizations. An ordinance proposed Monday by the Athens City Council would ban the sale of animals that come from commercial breeders— or puppy mills.

Mendi Estes is the Office Manager at the Athens Limestone Animal Shelter. She supports the ordinance which would ban retailers from selling animals sold or consigned to them by commercial breeders — also called puppy mills.

“We do want the ordinance passed because we don’t need a retail business coming into Limestone County selling dog and cats when we have too many stray or even owner-turn in animals that nobody wants right now.”

Right now, the shelter has 44 dogs and 17 cats that need homes, but she says there’s usually more.

“There are times we get into the 80’s with dogs and then up into 30’s and 40’s with the number of cats we have here,” said Estes.

Last year, more than 600 animals were euthanized at the shelter.

“We normally try to only euthanize animals that are sick or aggressive, but– if we keep growing with our numbers of turn in’s every year, you know, it’s just going to be more euthanizations,” she said.

The ordinance will be voted on in a city council meeting on Jan. 28th. 

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