DEAR EDITOR:

On Jan. 28th, The Cobb County Commissioners allowed public comment on a proposed code amendment (Section 10-135) that will prohibit and ban the sale of dogs and cats in a retail pet store. At that meeting, the meeting room was packed with people that support this ban. I spoke in support of this code amendment, as did dozens of others. I believe that there is overwhelming support all across the county as this seems to be a truly nonpartisan issue.

There are many reasons why dog and cat sales in retail stores should be banned. Retail pet sales support a horrific and cruel puppy mill industry. Public funds are used to bring the breeding animals back to health after they have been used, abused and dumped in municipal animal shelters. Pets in retail stores are ill and they are passing that illness to people. Two separate national antibiotic resistant campylobacter outbreaks, related to pet stores, have affected around 150 people, some requiring hospitalization. The animals are overpriced and customers are subjected to high pressure marketing and finance tactics. Sick animals are sold to unsuspecting people. When the sickness becomes obvious, heartbroken pet owners often spend thousands to provide medical care, which doesn’t always save their precious pet.

Despite this, Commissioners Birrell and Gambril voted to remove that code amendment from the list of amendments. As I understand it, Birrell said her vote was based on the fact that AG Chris Carr stated that the code is unconstitutional. Isn’t it up to a court to decide if something is unconstitutional? Over 300 communities across the country have banned the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, including 11 in Georgia. If you want Cobb County to be the 12th brave community to ban the sale of cats and dogs in retail pet stores, please call or email your commissioner to express your support.

Let’s all send a message that says we do not want a business in our county that preys on consumers and burdens our animal shelters We don’t want a business that reaps a profit by heaping cruelty on animals and people. In order for these commissioners to vote yes on this code amendment, they must be made to understand that this ban has overwhelming support. Their email addresses are: keli.gambrill@cobbcounty.org, joann.birrell@cobbcounty.org, mike.boyce@cobbcounty.org, lisa.cupid@cobbcounty.org, bob.ott@cobbcounty.org

Lynne Robinson

Marietta

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