GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH)–A suburban community is working on a first-of-its-kind law in Central Ohio, asking a new pet store to limit dog and cat purchases.
Grove City’s council members heard testimony on Tuesday from animal rights advocates and Petland representatives saying a proposed ordinance seeks a balance of concerns by pet buyers while encouraging new business.
NBC4 talked with both city officials and a Petland executive about the ordinance.
PDF: Grove City Council meeting minutes for Jan. 19 (ordinance can be found beginning on page 30)
The site of the new Petland store opening in February is in the 2700 block of London Groveport Road. City council members say the proposed law is meant to give new owners more info on where their dogs come from and limits where pet stores can purchase animals.
Grove City Council chambers were packed on Tuesday evening with sides for and against an ordinance putting restrictions on Petland and other new pet stores about future dog purchases.
“What I don’t want to see happen is them purchase dogs from high-volume breeders,“ said Grove City Council member Ted Berry. He said he proposed the ordinance after Petland received a permit for a new store in December.
Petland’s Vice President of Business Development Steve Huggins said they only buy from responsible breeders. Ohio law states a high-volume breeder produces more than nine litters of puppies and, or sells 60 or more puppies and dogs in a year.
“We want breeders that are working hard in their facility, we will use only breeders regulated and licensed by the federal government, USDA and in their state,” Huggins said.
Council member Laura Lanese said both animal rights advocates and supporters of Petland have voiced their concerns about Petland’s animal purchases.
“Pets are companion animals, it is not a refrigerator, it is not an Xbox, these are important issues we have deal with them in a different manner than we would with any other company,” said Lanese.
Any violation of the proposed ordinance would be a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
This is the first time Petland has dealt with this kind of ordinance, but Huggins said they can make it work.
NBC4: “Do you guys feel pretty comfortable with the dogs you sell?
Huggins: “Of course!”
Huggins: “Of course! We work and have a requirement for each store to have a consulting veterinarian and want to provide a happy, healthy pet for our customers.”
There is still time for public input before council votes on the ordinance February 1.