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Point Boro Bans Sale of Cats, Dogs

Council unanimously amends animal control law in response to shuttered Brick pet store

Retailers are banned from selling dogs and cats within Point Borough under the terms of an ordinance unanimously adopted Tuesday night.

The Borough Council amended its animal control code at its regular meeting to prevent stores from selling the pets after public outcry over a store in Brick that was shut down after authorities found a majority of its dogs to be in poor health.

"This is a step in the right direction," Councilman Chris Leitner said.

The amended code states that no pet store will "sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction or otherwise improperly dispose of cats or dogs in the Borough of Point Pleasant.

"The Borough of Point Pleasant has a local responsibility to promote animal welfare and encourage best practices in the breeding and purchasing of dogs and cats," the ordinance states. "The Borough Council finds that the retail sale of dogs and cats in pet stores ... is inconsistent with the Borough's goal to be a community that cares about animal welfare."

Officials in Brick Township are  on the sale of such animals after 26 of 39 dogs held at Puppies Galore in the Brick Mall were .

Authorities shut down the store, and owner Maria De Santis of Old Bridge and manager Nathan "Nat" Sladkin of Farmingdale are both  in connection with the condition of the Hooper Avenue shop.

Point Borough's ordinance references the existence of "puppy mills" and "kitten factories" while noting that not all dogs and cats sold in retail stores are "products of inhumane breeding conditions." However, it is the "Borough Council's belief that puppy mills and kitten factories continue to exist in part because of public demand for the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores."

Meanwhile, a group of Ocean County lawmakers are doing their part to shut down so-called animal mills throughout the state.

Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin introduced the "Healthy Puppies and Kittens Assurance Act," which would establish a state registry of breeders and pet dealers who will have to extensively document the history of each animal sold. The bill also would limit the selling of cats or dogs to 25 animals per year, per breeder.

The Senate bill, S1840, was introduced May 3 and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee while the Assembly bill, A2746, was introduced May 10 and referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Point Borough's ordinance is silent on the sale of other common house pets, such as gerbils, rabbits, hamsters and the like, effectively allowing their sale. 

However, Leitner said that "if it becomes apparent that we need an ordinance to prohibit the sale of more animals... we can amend."

Brick Patch editor Daniel Nee contributed to this report.

Beach_N8iv May 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM
How about pet adoptions?
Carl Wilton May 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Is it not possible that there could be a responsible pet store that doesn't sell animals from puppy mills? I'm a big advocate for shutting down the breeding operations that practice abuses, but it sounds to me like it's hitting a tack with a sledgehammer to ban this sort of retail business completely. If the worry is keeping the one, particular disreputable retail business that's now closed its doors in Brick (and that used to be in Point Beach) from reopening in Point Boro, is banning the entire class of business the best way to proceed? I know Point Boro used to have a pet store that successfully operated without this kind of scandal, and wonder if it's good for the town to ban retail sales of dogs and cats altogether. Just asking.
lablover May 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Bravo! I had heard a rumor that one might pop up here in town....very relieved to hear about this ordinance. And no, there are no pet stores that sell dogs that come anywhere but from puppy mills.....no matter what they claim. Sadly, there are no regulations when it comes to puppy mills. These pet stores buy these poor dogs from puppy mills for next to nothing and sell them to any idiot that comes walking throught their door for 1000's of dollars. There are plenty of responsible breeders that a consumer can go to if they really want to purchase a puppy. All you have to do is a little research. And of course there are also plenty of shelters and rescue groups to go to if a person wants to adopt an animal.
Cheri Clapp May 16, 2012 at 01:16 PM
It is my belief that this is one of the best actions taken by the Borough Council and I applaud them. It is about time animal welfare came to the forefront in the public eye. There are countless dogs and cats languishing in shelters, all in need of a safe, loving home. Every time someone buys instead of adopts, a shelter animal DIES. Kudos to you Borough Council. I believe there is no gray area. "Don't Shop, Adopt"!!!
Natalie Markova May 16, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Bravo!!! 4 million dogs die every year due to overpopulation and still people are worried that shutting down sales might produce a lack? Unfortunately all puppy stores do use either puppy mills or backyard breeders (think the hoarding case where 50 dogs were pulled out of a house in Spring Lake) because responsible breeders require home checks and follow ups. These are living things that should not be allowed to be sold as convenience items. It should take time and thought & that involves getting your money's worth with a proper breeder and investing in a healthy animal. For those who are too lazy to find a breeder (if you really don't have the time to do this how are you going to take the time to look after a messy puppy????) then the Monmouth County SPCA just opened a puppy adoption center in Freehold Mall. Eatontown branch often has a lot too and Petfinder has all breeds as puppies. We don't need to support cruelty in the name of convenience. Petition to BAN Puppy Stores in Monmouth Co. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/638/849/606/
Natalie Markova May 16, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Carl... the store you speak of was Puppy King and it was the same guy who got shut down in Brick. There were constant problems and it cost taxpayers a lot of money to deal with the constant health complains. Pets are living things and whilst I support reputable breeders they require a lot of work - especially dogs. Perhaps there would be less animals stuffed into county shelters if it wasn't so easy to walk into a store and just get an animal. If we are going to call America the greatest county in the world then we need to start treating our companion animals with a little kindness. Pet Stores are bad because they buy stock from rural states very cheap and then hand out sick puppies for thousands of dollars. Trust me, I volunteer at shelters and have seen these puppies with dysplacia or missing vital organs. As a country we need to start supporting the people who do business with honor - which is reputable breeders and stores such as the Monmouth County SPCA adoption center in Freehold who are selling puppies that were saved from the south.
Natalie Markova May 16, 2012 at 01:49 PM
And I forgot to add in... no... Pet Stores are 98% selling stock from backyard breeders (hoarding) and puppy mills. Proper breeders have one or two litters a year (keeps the parents and pups healthy) and require home/vet checks. Who is going to hand raise a puppy and then dump it off in a store to be sold to the highest bidder. I wouldn't even do that to my foster puppies (who were saved from death in the south) - we're going to check the home, make sure they will be safe etc etc
jersey May 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
GOOD NEWS TODAY.lets hope the precedent set here grows legs throughout the state
Charles W. Bogert May 16, 2012 at 02:59 PM
To PPBorough Governing Body: WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!
Chris Leitner May 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Adoptions were expressly removed from the ordinance. In other words, adoptions are allowed.
Nicholas Loffredo May 16, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Beach_N8iv: The ordinance only bans the retail sale. Adoptions from a shelter are allowed and in fact encouraged in the language of the legislation.
Beach_N8iv May 16, 2012 at 03:28 PM
GREAT! Kudos to the Boro council members for enacting a well thought out ordnance.
PUP-E-RESQ May 16, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Way to go, it's a step in the right direction. Having grown up in pp and now living in the south, I can tell you about backyard breeders and puppy mills. I have seen some of the most horrific things associated with these places and Im not kidding. I started a Puppy Rescue for that purpose and have rescued so many of these poor babies. I think the boro has it right, its a matter of supply and demand... Adopt from a shelter and elimanate these horrible horrible places... and spay or neuter your animal their lives depend on it..... Pup-E-Resq Newport, NC
Kathy Bottone May 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM
This makes me so proud that I live in Point Boro. Thank you on behalf of those who have no voice!
CEFisher May 16, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is a step in the right direction so that we can one day end the inhumane treatment of animals in these mass commercial breeding facilities. No longer will a pet store owner be able to make an insane profit off of the abuse of these innocent dogs.
Laura May 16, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Glad to see that our Boro Attorney decided after I brought this up a few months ago at a Council meeting that it was possible to stop puppy mill pet stores. Initially Dasti said we couldn't do that. I now won't have to come back and haunt any of our Council members which I threatened to do if Nat Sladkin or anyone of his ilk came to town. Point Paws still has kittens and full grown cats available for adoption. They (Point Paws and the cats) need your help. If more people came to Council meetings and spoke out about issues they were concerned with a lot more could be done. I'm not talking about just this issue but all important issues. The Council also voted on a resolution calling for a ban on Fracking. They approved it unanimously. I applaud them for approving both Agenda items.
pat wenz May 16, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Fantastic job Point Pleasant. I have rescued several puppy mill dogs through Shih Tzu and Furbaby Rescue and have seen first hand the horror that these innocent animals have had to endure for year after year in these mills. The toll it takes on them lasts the rest of their lives. Paying for puppies or kittens only rewards and perpetuates these mills. I had lost hope that this type of legislation would ever come to pass and I only hope it continues throughout the country. There are enough dogs and cats for adoption in local shelters and on reputable websites such as Petfinder and Adoptapet that need love and care. Thank you so much Point Pleasant, you've restored my hope and faith.
Cheri Clapp May 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I hope it grows legs and spreads across the US!!!
Jan Fisher May 17, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Carl: There are no reputable breeders that would sell to a pet store. Ask the NJ Federation of Dog Clubs if any of their members would sell their puppies to a pet store. It would never happen. Therefore, pet stores are disreputable retail businesses because they purchase from large brokers like Hunte & Lambriar or individual mass commercial breeders (puppy mills) and pretend to consumers that they buy from reputable breeders. I know, I have read numerous USDA reports from the "other" pet store that still exists in Brick. Their puppies come from the mid-west and many of their breeders have USDA violations. It is easy to obtain this information. Sad but true. Pet stores rip off the consumer and the lives of innocent animals forced to breed in horrible conditions.
craig May 17, 2012 at 10:49 PM
The Amish are the main culprits running puppy mills. I wish the feds would get involved. Kudo's to Point Boro!
Jan Fisher May 18, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Craig, the more you learn about this business, the more depressed you become - if you are a dog lover. The feds are involved. The Amish puppy mills are USDA licensed. They are inspected every six months by the USDA. The USDA uses the Animal Welfare Act as their guideline. The Animal Welfare Act provides for minimal care for the dogs. If you google the Animal Welfare Act, you will understand what I mean by minimal standards. There are thousands of puppy mills in the USA and only about 70 USDA inspectors. The Office of Inspector General did an audit of the USDA and their inspection system of puppy mills and their report was scathing. They were shocked by what they found. Google: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Animal Care Program/INspectionsof Problematic Dealers. It is enlightening as well as disturbing to any person who believes in humane treatment of dogs. Let me know what you think, if you can read it.
craig May 18, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Thanks Jan I'll do that. Everyone should read it.
Billie Roth July 19, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Please Councilman Chris Leitner please get after our New York Councilmen to ban PET STORES FROM HAVING PUPPIES FROM PUPPY MILLS. To go humane and have ADOPTED DOGS from SHELTERS/RESCUES. LET them go humane. People will give thumbs up for our adopted dogs in the PET STORE WINDOWS. Please people go to "PRISONERS OF GREED to learn about PUPPY MILLS.
Billie Roth July 19, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Let's take our Dogs/Cats out of shelters/Rescues and have them adopted in PET STORES LET'S GO HUMANE
Jan Fisher July 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Billie: It is so nice to know that you care. If you are from NYC or know anyone who lives there, they need to "pitch" the idea to the council members. I would be happy to help anyone who wants to do this. I can provide information to present to them as well. Just ask on this site. The PEOPLE have to get after their mayors and councils in each town. Thanks so much for caring about this issue
Jan Fisher July 19, 2012 at 12:36 PM
This is precisely what we would like pet stores to do. We don't want them to close but would like them to do shelter animals plus board, groom, sell products, etc. There are stores who have committed to doing this and we should only patronize them.
Gigi Whiteley August 16, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Jan I would love to have the info ! I would attend all council meetings as well as speak to our mayor personally and present all info on topic . we have an awesome mayor in Richmond,In. Thanks to all pet lovers for supporting this move!!! & Thanks Jan my e-mail is AngelBoop@comcast.net
Michel Devost February 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM
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