By Jane Smith
The city is moving closer to banning the sale of dogs from puppy mills.
On March 1, Delray Beach commissioners unanimously approved the first step by restricting dog and cat sales to rescue groups only.
City Attorney Noel Pfeffer said that dogs bred in puppy mills may be licensed, but the puppies are not raised in humane conditions.
“The purpose and the cure is to reduce the supply chain,” he said.
He talked about Palm Beach County cases where similar ordinances were upheld.
Commissioners thanked him for the presentation, and members of the audience applauded after the vote.
But the law would penalize the only pet store in its downtown: Waggs to Riches pet boutique on Atlantic Avenue.
Opened in October 2006, Waggs sells tiny designer dogs such as shih tzus, toy poodles and Chihuahuas.
People come into the store and often don’t leave without paying thousands for a designer dog and the accouterments needed to live an upscale life: rhinestone-studded collars and blinged-out doggy strollers.
Waggs’ owner could not be reached for comment.
When the new law is approved, Waggs would have six months to sell off its inventory of designer dogs or face a $400 penalty for each violation.