Shane Reinhardt is outraged.
City officials in Cape Coral have proposed a new ordinance. It would make it illegal for pet stores to sell cats and dogs.
The goal of the ordinance is to stop puppy and kitten mills. It will have significant repercussions to Reinhardt's business, Patriot Pets and Supplies, which is a Cape Coral company that sells these furry four legged animals.
Puppy-mills are known for its horrible conditions, locking dogs into small cages until they are sold to pet stores or purebred enthusiasts. Female dogs in puppy-mills will be bred over and over, then killed once they are unable to produce puppies.
Reinhardt believes the ordinance has good intentions, but that it'll affect his business unfairly.
"I’m inspected by the USDA, the department of agriculture, as well as Florida Fish and Wildlife ,” said Reinhardt, referring to the significant government oversight on his business.
As owner of the pet store, Reinhardt has to makes sure he follows laws in place that allows him to use breeders that are registered and inspected by the same entities that inspect his business. His store was cluttered but clean — cluttered in a good way like a bookstore full of books, but instead it was pet toys and supplies.
"I’ve never failed an inspection through the United States Department of Agriculture," said Reinhardt, "I’ve never failed an inspection through Florida Fish and Wildlife, I’ve never had code compliance problems or nothing.”
The proposed banned wouldn't just affect Reinhardt business he says that it would affect his customers as well. "A lot of the dogs that we sell, for instance, go usually to older, senior residents," he said. "And a lot of them are unable to adopt dogs at shelters cause of their age."
We contacted the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and they said they have received zero complaints about Patriot Pets & Supplies.
The City of Cape Coral is holding a public hearing on the proposal October 1st.