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Fight Over Sale of Pets in Branford


It was a debate over pet sales and nearly 200 people packed a meeting Tuesday night in Branford for it.

A new ordinance could ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and even rabbits in town.

"I guess I want to know more about what you feel due diligence is in terms of your breeders," said one woman who was one of many in the back and forth all night long. "It's my right and responsibility to be able to go out and get the pet I want for my family."

Branford residents and others made their case for or against an ordinance to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in town.
The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Commission is proposing the ban.

"Should you move to a humane business model we will come to your store and we will spend money and we will increase your revenue and your profit margin," said Lori Nicholson, chair of the animal shelter.

They cited statistics from the Connecticut Humane Society, highlighting that most puppies and kittens sold in pet stores like All Pets Club come from mills. The same mills that don't foster good environments for animals.
"This is not about getting you out of a job, not at all," said Nicholson.
"This will literally put a local business that employs over 40 people out of business," said Charles Sewell, executive vice president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
They insist All Pets Club is inspected by the US Department of Agriculture, they have a clean bill of health and they run a quality business.
All Pets Club is the only retail store in Branford that would be affected by this ban.
"We want everybody to have a successful pet. We don't want any problems. We try and work with the customer as closely as possible. We follow the law," said Co-Owner Ed Focault, who insists their business is not just about selling animals but also about educating kids and families about their pets.

"We do our very best to choose the right breeders," Focault added.
At one point the meeting had to be stopped because there were too many people in the room and the fire marshal was called. They continued after a 30 minute recess.

Nothing has been decided by the Ordinance Committee just yet. There will be an a public hearing in next few months.


Photo Credit: nayoweme/Instagram

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