ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — Elizabethtown has passed an ordinance in regards to the sale of dogs and cats.
Councilwoman Julia Springsteen said they are the first town in the state to make it a criminal offense to sell and buy animals from stores or in public space.
"This is targeting backyard breeders, this is targeting puppy mills and if more locations throughout Kentucky can do this we can push them out," she said.
According to the ASPCA, a puppy mill is a "large-scale commercial dog breeding operation, where the breeder puts profit over the well-being of the pets.
"Kentucky has very few animal protection laws and that just invites people into our area to do this," Springsteen said.
Guardians of Rescue said they see about 2,000 animals come in through their organization a year.
"We see first hand what we are dealing with at these retail stores," Guardians of Rescue Robert Misseri said. "These roadside flea markets its really brutal. This is a great ordinance to start this process to stop it where people will go and adopt."
The ordinance states pet retail and commercial stores can work with any animal shelter and rescue to showcase pets for adoption. However there must be a sign up detailing where the animals are from.
If you do consider a breeder, the ordinance suggests that you know exactly the condition of where the animals are bred. City officials said this new ordinance does not ban legit breeders but ultimately want consumers to think before they buy.
"You should understand that they take care and that they take money and there are vet bills involved and so we want to eliminate the impulse buy," Springsteen said.
Violators will face a misdemeanor on their record and could see fines up to $5,000 and possibly 90 days in jail. They could also face a separate charge for each animal offered for sale or profit.