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Kitsap County considers banning retail sale of cats and dogs

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Concerns about “puppy mills” and “kitten factories” have increased talks of a Kitsap County ban on retail cat and dog sales.

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The Kitsap Sun reports the proposal from county commissioners would keep anyone from selling dogs or cats younger than eight weeks old. Exceptions would be made for animal welfare groups like the Kitsap Humane Society.

Retail pet shops could still sell or show pets from those groups. Hobby breeders can still sell pets, but would have to sell less than 20 in a 12-month-span, and keep medical records for two years.

The county cites “inhumane conditions consisting of overcrowded cages, over breeding, absence of adequate sanitation and vet treatment for serious health issues, and lack of socialization and exercise” as the issues generating the most concern.

“(It) basically has a great impact on pet stores that acquire their animals from out of state, out of the area, places that could potentially be classified as ‘puppy mills’ and ‘kitten factories,’” policy manager for the county commissioners Eric Baker told the Sun. “Generally those are places that can have animal welfare issues, often times they have operations that are not 100 percent sanitary, cages that are too small.”

One target of the ban would be Farmland Pets and Feed in Silverdale. According to a source for the Sun, Farmland sells approximately 400 dogs a year, all coming from a single kennel in Kansas.

County officials have interviewed “numerous” stakeholders since 2018, including the Kitsap County Humane Society, license hobbyist breeders, animal welfare advocates, commercial pet stores, and more.

A similar ban currently exists in Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, and Poulsbo.

The county will be holding a public hearing Monday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the measure.

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