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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Councilors: It’s Act II for circus, pet sale
from---rrobserver.com
BY ARGEN DUNCAN,Observer staff writer
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Despite protests from animal welfare advocates, ordinance amendments to lift a ban on dog and cat sales and to decrease restrictions on animal exhibitions in Rio Rancho took a step toward being enacted Wednesday night.
The Rio Rancho Governing Body voted 4-2 to pass a first reading of the amendments at its meeting at City Hall. The amendments must pass a second reading Oct. 24 to become law.
Councilors Mark Scott, Tim Crum, Lonnie Clayton and Chuck Wilkins voted for the eased restrictions, while councilors Patricia Thomas and Tamara Gutierrez opposed them.
Mayor Tom Swisstack had proposed a change to require dog sterilization unless owners obtained an unaltered dog permit. That requirement already exists for cats.
Crum didn’t want the dog sterilization mandate, but no one else opposed the rule.
Also, Crum had asked to remove the ban on pet stores selling cats and dogs.
Rio Rancho resident Tom Defeo said pet stores rely on puppy and kitten mills, which keep breeding mothers in miserable conditions. He said no responsible breeder would sell to a pet store.
“Approve this ordinance and you’ll surely be contributing to a puppy mill or a kitty mill somewhere,” Defeo said.
Albuquerque resident Sherry Mangold said she worked for the attorney general’s office for a few years and received 28 calls about sub-standard living conditions and sickness, injury or death in pets from Rio Rancho pet stores.
From another view, Rio Rancho veterinarian George Abernathy said since the ban had started to take effect, he’d seen less respiratory disease but more parvo, which is more deadly. If the city bans sales of dogs and cats, Abernathy said, people just get them elsewhere.
“I think the animals would be healthier if the city regulates (pet store dog and cat sales),” he said.
Crum said he didn’t ask for the removal of the ban to increase gross receipts tax revenue, as some speakers suggested, but because of individual rights. He said he didn’t think it was fair to use a “broad-brush policy” against pet stores and breeders.
“I assure you this, I’m not on the side of cruelty, ever,” he said.
read more---
http://www.rrobserver.com/news/local/article_0cb3b640-14b5-11e2-8982-0019bb2963f4.html

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