Guntersville City Council passes new pet sale ordinance

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - Guntersville City Council passed a new ordinance to not allow pet stores to purchase animals from commercial puppy mills and resell them. This includes all pets including dogs and cats.

Guntersville mayor Leigh Dollar says this does not affect "hobby breeders."

“You have a friend or family member that has a dog and wants to have puppies — that does not affect them whatsoever," says Dollar. "In the retail aspect, you can't buy them from a commercial operation."

Dollar says this is a proactive measure and there are no current issues with this in the city of Guntersville.

"Our pet stores now are great and cooperate with all our rescue organizations," she said.

The mayor says Guntersville was not seeing a problem with pet stores buying commercially, but the council wanted to go ahead and push the ordinance to prevent future problems.

A veterinarian at Lake Guntersville Veterinary Services is excited the city council passed the ordinance.

"There's a lot of very adoptable, wonderful animals in this shelter and this will protect them and keep the big retail pet sellers from coming in," says Dr. Martha Bargo.

Bargo says the overpopulation of animals in Guntersville is a problem and it is important to help stray animals find homes.

"I try to encourage people to look at your shelters before you go out and purchase animals, especially from pet stores," Bargo said.

Several other cities have passed similar ordinances in north Alabama such as Huntsville and Athens.

The new ordinance passed on Monday and went into effect immediately.

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