Michele Lazarow, activist against pet stores selling puppy mill dogs

Michele Lazarow—a Hallandale Beach city commissioner and activist who has helped pass numerous laws across Florida preventing pet stories from selling dogs that come from puppy mills—recounts the dreadful experience she had in 2004 after buying her dog, Alfie, from a pet store, which misrepresented where the dog had come from, thereby launching Lazarow on the path of crusader to make such transactions illegal. 5d15bd24b41b4062f8a4a8f5bf93f797Florida has more of these laws than any other state, and the credit for this distinction goes to Lazarow, who has helped pass more than 35 of the 44 such ordinances now on the books–and she explains the procedures and considerable challenges involved in pushing those laws through, with input from Karen Ankerstar, who recently (with assistance from Lazarow) passed a county-wide ban on puppy mill dogs being sold at pet stores in Sarasota. Lazarow emphasizes that, despite the criticisms she often draws, the intent of these laws is not to hurt or close these pet store business, pointing out that many shops survive and even flourish without selling dogs. The conversation also describes puppy mills: commercial-breeding operations, mass puppy-mill-cagesproducing dogs in often-horrific operations, with no concern for the health of the animals yielded at these backwoods enterprises. It’s also noted that there are plenty of breeders who are responsible and reputable, and there’s a sharp distinction between what they do—in particular, selling directly to the public—and puppy mills. Lazarow and Ankerstar outline some of the variations in the laws, explaining that while some allow the pet stores to sell dogs from rescues and shelters, others—for example, the one Ankerstar passed in Sarasota—strictly prohibit the stores from selling any type of dogs. Lazarow acknowledges she works on these laws pretty much full time, and while cautioning that passing them takes tremendous work and tenacity, indicates that she will make herself available to consult with someone interested in pursuing that legislation in their area: [email protected]. (http://michelelazarow.com/hallandale_beach/, www.facebook.com/Sick-Puppies-in-South-Florida-Pet-Stores-926542577442408/?fref=nf, https://m.facebook.com/ShutdownPetlandBradentonFl, www.facebook.com/shutdownpetlandsarasotafl/, www.facebook.com/shutdownpetlandkennesawga)

12939228_10153528833716868_1575974891_nALSO: I spoke briefly with Amber Simpson, organizer of the 6th Annual Tampa Vegan Bake Sale, taking place April 16 at Mojo Books and Records—the proceeds of while will help care for homeless and feral cats, and more. (www.facebook.com/AnimalAdvocacyTB/, http://tampaveganbakesale.blogspot.com)


COMEDY CORNER: Aziz Ansari’s “Lady With The Puppies” (portion) (http://azizansari.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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