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Lafayette leaders mull banning dog, cat sales

LAFAYETTE — In an effort to stem overpopulation and shady or inhumane breeding practices, Lafayette officials are considering a ban on sales of dogs and cats. 

“It’s a crisis, it’s a problem — a big problem,” Lafayette City Council member Tonya Briggs said this week during a study session with city staff on the issue during which officials considered a pair of alternative measures that could eventually form the basis of a sales-ban ordinance.

“We have a huge overpopulation of cats and dogs,” she said “… We don’t need to breed [and sell], we just do not.”

The options — drafted by staff, Lafayette city attorney Mary Lynn Macsalka said, primarily to “address the inhumane treatment of animals in kitten mills and puppy mills” — are: 

  • The city could specifically prohibit pet stores from selling dogs and cats, with exceptions for animal care facilities, animal rescue organizations and those fostering animals in private homes.
  • Alternatively, Lafayette could prohibit all dog and cat sales, regardless of what category of business the seller belongs, with the same exceptions applicable.

Lafayette staffers told city leaders that the first option was straight-foward and that enforcement would be simpler, while still preventing puppy mills and commercial breeding facilities from operating.

The blanket-ban alternative would be more difficult to enforce and would require a complaint — most likely from an animal rescue organization — before authorities could investigate. 

Lafayette City Council members were split on which option to direct staff to pursue, but the majority ultimately chose full prohibition.

“Pursue that path and come back at our next meeting and we can have more discussion,” Lafayette mayor JD Mangat said.

The public will have several opportunities for input prior to the adoption of any new ordinance.

Source: BizWest