Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Pasco dog rules stall amid breeder complaints

DADE CITY — Pasco County commissioners stalled again on an effort to pass an animal welfare ordinance restricting puppy mills and tethered dogs.

Commissioners gave initial approval to the new rules in September but stalled on Wednesday after a handful of breeders and a flea market operator complained they were too intrusive.

"You're taking away our rights and restricting free trade by banning the sale at flea markets," said Michele Overbeck, manager of the USA flea market in Port Richey. "We are trying to sell healthy animals at our facility."

Other breeders complained the new rules would restrict them from selling animals online and traveling to meet a customer. Breeders would have to obtain a new health and safety license and would be restricted to selling dogs at a fixed location.

Commissioner Jack Mariano questioned the whole package, saying the tethering restrictions are overbearing.

"To put these people out of business I think is absurd," he said. "You're going to affect a lot of people here in ways that you shouldn't."

Animal Services manager John Malley said he believes the ordinance can be tweaked to allow small breeders to sell animals online. But he said it's critical to restrict most sales to businesses or homes, which can be inspected for safe conditions.

"What we're looking to do is stop people from selling dogs at Walmart or on Massachusetts Avenue when I drive by on the weekends," he said.

Commissioners must still decide about the tethering restrictions.

One option would simply require owners to be outside with their dog if it's tied up. Another would require a certain type of tethering device while ensuring the dog has food, water and shelter. A third option would combine both approaches.

Discussion of the ordinance was postponed until the Dec. 4 meeting in New Port Richey.

In other news Tuesday, commissioners

• Adopted a new ordinance cracking down on synthetic marijuana and other drugs commonly known as "Spice." Instead of regulating specific chemical compounds, the ordinance targets store owners based on the packaging and marketing of the drugs. The ordinance, which takes effect immediately, levies a $500 civil fine for each individual package of the drugs. Deputies could consider a range of factors when determining if a substance is an "illicit synthetic drug." The new ordinance was pushed by Sheriff Chris Nocco's office and also crafted with the help of his defeated opponent, Kim Bogart.

• Endorsed a purchase of the Florida assets of Aqua Utilities by a multicounty government agency. This fall, the utility offered to sell its assets for $95 million. Pasco officials had criticized the agency for providing poor-quality water at sky-high rates, and the utility recently won approval for higher rates from state regulators. Pasco's move only gives the Florida Governmental Utility Authority the opportunity to begin negotiations on the deal, which could close by February.

• Approved speed restrictions on the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico near Anclote River Park. In September, state officials rejected a joint application with Tarpon Springs to create a slow speed zone along the river into the city. But officials said they would approve a smaller no-wake zone at the crowded intersection where the river passes three boat ramps at the park before heading out to the gulf. Pasco parks director Rick Buckman called that the most important portion of the earlier proposal.

New Pasco dog rules stall amid breeder complaints 11/07/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 8:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What you need to know for Friday, July 28

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Jermaine Ferguson takes the $5 entry fee from a visitor at Fort De Soto Park on Wednesday. Pasco County has done away with recession era park fees. What about Pinellas and Hillsborough counties? [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. The Killers coming to Hard Rock Live in Orlando

    Blogs

    They're reliable festival headliners, and they're about to embark on a North American arena tour.

    The KIllers
  3. Back to School 2017: What you need to know

    News

    With the start of classes less than three weeks away, the Tampa Bay Times' back-to-school special report debuts today.

    The Times' annual back-to-school coverage debuts today with information families can use to start the new year. [Times files]
  4. Hillsborough and Pinellas to keep park entry fees, while Pasco makes them free again

    Local Government

    One thing stands between Mark Crawford and the mackerel schooling in the topaz saltwater around the pier at Fort De Soto Park: a toll booth. And even if the lady inside is as sweet as orange blossom honey, she still wants his five dollars.

    Jermaine Ferguson takes the $5 entry fee from a visitor at Fort De Soto Park on Wednesday. Pasco County has done away with recession era park fees, but Hillsborough and Pinellas county plan to continue to charge people to use parks like Fort De Soto and Lettuce Lake Park. LARA CERRI   |   Times

  5. Oldsmar promotes Al Braithwaite to city manager

    Local Government

    OLDSMAR — He's a self-proclaimed "numbers guy,'' who holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of South Florida. Al Braithwaite is also a basketball fan who played hoops at Eckerd College while earning his bachelor's degree in management with a minor in finance, and he is a native New …

    Al Braithwaite  has 18 years of experience with Oldsmar City Hall.