Nassau County seeks to ban commercial sale of dogs, cats, rabbits

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The Nassau County Board of Commissioners is considering an ordinance that would ban the commercial sale of dogs, cats and rabbits, allowing only exceptions for animal shelters, animal welfare organizations and local breeders with certification.

The ordinance is aimed at preventing the location of puppy mills, kitten factories and rabbit mills in Nassau County.

Under the ordinance, the sale of the domestic pets on the side of the road and at flea markets would be prohibited.

Leaders with the Nassau Humane Society said they believe the ordinance is a great idea to help prevent animal cruelty and illegal breeding.

“We don’t need people out there breeding dogs in their backyards, trying to sell them,” said Amanda Holden, intake manager at the Nassau Humane Society. "If you get an animal through us, you know that they’re vaccinated fully. They are spayed and neutered. They’re microchipped, they’re heartworm tested, so you know you’re getting a healthy animal.”

The ordinance was listed for a public hearing on Thursday night’s commission meeting agenda, but it has been continued until June 22 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If it passes, those would don’t abide by the ordinance could face a $500 fine per day, per animal or 60 days in jail.

Several Florida counties and cities have adopted similar bans.

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