Point Beach Outlawing Dog and Cat Sales
Retail sales of hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, gerbils, rats and ferrets still allowed
Point Beach is outlawing the retail sale of dogs and cats, following a similar move recently made first in Point Borough, then in Brick and Manasquan.
The second reading and adoption of the ordinance prohibiting retail sales of dogs, cats and certain other mammals was supported in a unanimous vote at the Point Beach Borough Council meeting at Borough Hall on Tuesday night.
"This ordinance, if adopted would ban the sale of dogs, cats and other mammals, other than hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, and rabbits, within the Borough," states the ordinance summary at the bottom of the ordinance on the municipal website.
On Tuesday night, the council agreed to add "gerbils, rats and ferrets" as exceptions, so they can still be sold in pet stores.
There are currently no pet stores in Point Beach, but the ordinance is designed to prevent any new ones from opening up and trying to sell dogs, cats and other animals not included in the exceptions.
The prohibition "would not affect an establishment offering animals for adoption," the summary states.
The ordinance also says: "According to the Humane Society of the United States ("HSUS”), inspection records show that many USDA-licensed breeders breed dogs or cats in relatively inhumane conditions. These breeders are commonly referred to as 'puppy mills' or 'kitten factories.'
"Documented problems of puppy mills include: over breeding; inbreeding; veterinary care that doesn’t meet the same standards as other breeders; relatively poor quality of food and shelter; lack of human socialization; and overcrowded cages.
"Dogs bred in puppy mills are more likely to have behavior and/or health problems. While kitten factories are not as common as puppy mills, similar problems are reported regarding kitten factories."
It also states that outlawing pet store sales of dogs, cats and other mammals, other than the exceptions, will encourage the public to adopt pets from animal shelters.
Dr. Robert E. Moreau, a veterinarian at Beach Animal Hospital, River Avenue, Point Beach, said he was in favor of the ordinance because he sees animals that clients have purchased from pet stores every day.
"The roots of the problem are hard to understand if you haven't seen it first hand which I have," Moreau said. "They're treated like chattel. If they get sick, there's no veterinary care. They're just put down, usually shot with a gun. There are more genetic problems because they are in-bred rather than out-bred."
Resident David Cavagnaro said that despite that he loves his pet dogs, he is against the ordinance because it limits business.
Point Beach Council had voted unanimously at its Sept. 18 meeting for first reading of the ordinance.
Resident Lisa Muller asked at the Sept. 18 meeting if the ordinance would prohibit the local animal welfare organization from establishing an adoption center in the downtown, and was told that it will not.
Area towns started getting concerned about the need to develop such an ordinance after Puppies Galore, a pet store in Brick owned by Maria DeSantis, was raided and animals there were found ill and grossly neglected.
The manager of that store, Nathan "Nat" Sladkin, had owned a pet store on Arnold Avenue in Point Beach years ago that had been the target of formal complaints, pickets and protests from many accusing him of selling sickly dogs.
He then moved the business to Wall and then to Brick as "manager."