Any potential pet store owners looking for a home at the Jersey Shore will have to look outside Manasquan after Monday when the Borough Council adopted an ordinance banning the retail sale of dogs and cats inside borough limits.
The governing body voted 6-0 to adopt the ordinance -- which still allows for private breeders, kennels and animal shelters to sell dogs and cats -- intended to discourage "puppy mills" and "kitten factories," known for overbreeding and mistreating animals.
Citing research from the Humane Society of the United States, the ordinance says that many licensed breeders in fact breed dogs or cats "in relatively inhumane conditions."
Owners of so-called puppy mills and kitten factories have been known by authorities to over-breed, inbreed, lack standard veterinary care, provide poor-quality food and shelter, lack human socialization, and over-crowd cages, the ordinance says.
Dogs bred in so-called puppy mills are more likely to have behavorial and/or health problems, the ordinance says.
"[T]he Borough Council believes that a community that promotes animal welfare will be a healthier community," the ordinance says.
Violators of the proposed ordinance would face either fines of up to $2000, 90 days in jail, community service, or a combination of the three, the ordinance says.
The governing body also believes the proposed ban would encourage more pet adoptions from shelters, "thereby saving animals' lives and reducing the cost to the public sheltering of animals," the ordinance says.
Officials have said that the borough's only pet shop owner expressed no qualms with the proposed ordinance.