EATONTOWN: The governing body is close to joining other towns in the state in adopting an ordinance that change what is allowed and not allowed at pet stores.
Monmouth County SPCA Chaplain Matty Giuliano spoke at the July 27 Eatontown Council meeting in support of the ordinance, which would prohibit the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet stores in the borough.
Giuliano formerly served as an animal cruelty officer and said it inspired him to later become a chaplain and protect "all of gods creatures."
"In that time I have seen the pain and anguish pet owners have experienced when they made the emotional, impulse decision to purchase a cat or dog from a less than desirable breeder," Giuliano said.
Dogs and cats bred in puppy mills or "kitten factories" are more likely to have health or behavioral problems, according to similar ordinances passed in other local towns such as Manasquan.
He said eliminating the sale of dogs and cats at pet stores is essential because of the "awful and inhumane" conditions of the puppy mills where they are kept before the are put on display for the "unsuspecting consumer."
New Jersey Humane Society Director Brian Hackett 62 towns in New Jersey and 150 nationally have already passed similar ordinances. There are currently no pet stores that sell cats or dogs from puppy mills or kitten factories in the borough, but if a new one were opened, the ordinance would only allow them to be sold if they are sourced from shelters.
"We think this is an absolute necessity in New Jersey to adopt this humane model," Hackett said.
Hackett said it would prevent chains, such as Just Pets, that have been cited for keeping their animals in bad conditions, from opening in Eatontown.
Mayor Dennis Connelly and the borough council said they fully support the adoption of the ordinance.
"I don't see any reason why we won't be moving forward to being town number 63 in New Jersey," Connelly said.