Companion animals debated at city council


By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

“Animals are our best friends. They deserve to be loved and respected, not treated as a commodity. Grove City can make a difference and take a strong ethical stand,” said Grove City resident Leslie Cohen Smith.

Smith was one of about a half a dozen people who spoke at the Feb. 16 meeting about Grove City Council’s new legislation to restrict the retail sale of companion animals.

The new legislation states that a pet store shall only offer for sale dogs and cats that the store has obtained from an animal rescue, a shelter or a humane society. In addition, retail outlets in the city would not be permitted to sell a dog or cat that is younger than 8 weeks old. The business would also have to maintain records including the name and address of the rescue group or shelter where the animal was obtained. Those records would need to be kept for two years and submitted annually to the director of public safety for the city.

The pet sale restriction legislation was sponsored by council members Ted Berry and Laura Lanese after council approved, with a majority vote, a permit allowing Petland to sell companion animals at its new location on London-Groveport Road in Grove City. This special use permit was approved late last year.

Petland, based out of Chillicothe, is known to sell pure bred puppies. Many people question where the business gets those puppies and accuse the company of supporting puppy mills or high volume breeding operations.

Joe Watson, president of Petland, said the company only works with regulated breeders and distributors approved by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Those who support the city’s proposal believe that dogs are not products, they are companions.

Councilman Jeff Davis said he has been struggling with this issue.

“I understand what an important issue this is,” he said. “Everyone loves dogs. They are important to all of us. But the business is not doing anything illegally.”

Councilman Steve Bennett said this issue should be handled at the state and federal level.

“Other cities have enacted similar legislation and not one puppy mill has been shut down,” said Bennett. “This is a people problem and not all people are good.”

Lanese believes Grove City can make a difference in the bigger picture – if retail stores are not allowed to sell these dogs, that outlet cannot support high volume breeders.

“This is difficult for us, but we have an opportunity to do something about this,” said Lanese. “We can send a strong message that this is wrong.”

Anthony Samples, vice president of corporate stores for Petland, said the Petland, located at 2740-2744 London Groveport Road, will hold its grand opening on Feb. 27. He said they have already hired staff, including seven Grove City residents.

“We are very excited to be here,” he said.

Samples said the company works with rescue groups and shelters. He offered 20 percent of kennel space at the Grove City location for shelter or rescue animals. He also said that a portion of proceeds from the store’s opening day will be donated to the Grove City Division of
Police for its canine program.

The second reading and public hearing on the pet sale restriction ordinance will be held at 7 p.m. March 7 at City Hall, 4035 Broadway.

Previous articleVillage mourns code enforcement officer
Next articleSuper Bowl Honor Roll


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.