Puppy mill preemption bill postponed – again – by Senate panel

puppy mills
Bill went unheard in committee.

A sea of light blue t-shirts dotted the rows of a committee room in the Senate Monday, showing support for a bill finally getting committee hearings in the back half of the Legislative Session.

Unfortunately for those advocates, it was a wasted trip.

Legislation for state-level regulation of pet stores (SB 1698) did not receive a hearing Monday from the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee.

The agenda for the committee was jam packed. Though it would have been possible to get the bill a hearing had it been entertained first, lengthy discussions on other bills and a tight time frame precluded discussion of the legislation.

Whether that was a deliberate mechanism to kill the bill or not is likely a matter of conjecture, but the lack of hearing certainly didn’t make it stronger.

This was just the first of three committees of reference for the bill from Hialeah Gardens Republican Sen. Manny Diaz, a bad sign this late in the Session with committees already beginning to wrap up for 2020.

The goal of the bill: to kill so-called “puppy mills.”

The legislation intends, as most state-level preemption bills do, to fill in the gaps created by a patchwork quilt of local regulations.

The legislation requires climate controlled quarters (between 67 and 78 degrees), with an hour of “exercise and socialization” required, and thrice-eekly inspections by a veteranarian.

A licensed veterinarian would drop in three times a week to ensure stores are up to snuff.

The legislation only applies to pet stores, not public or nonprofit shelters. It excludes “hobby breeders” who sell four or fewer dogs or cats a year.

The legislation, along with the House companion bill (HB 1237), sponsored by Rep. Bryan Avila, aims to rid the state of so-called puppy mills. Both bills seek to set a uniform standard throughout the state, allowing stores that play by the rules to keep their doors open and freeing them of the stigma brought on by shady operations.

Though dozens of people jammed the center rows of the hearing room waiting to make their case for the Senate bill, their trip was for naught.


Material from Florida Politics’ Sarah Mueller was used in this post.

Staff Reports


  • cindy kahn

    February 20, 2020 at 8:58 am

    This is the worst and most inaccurate reporting I have ever read. This bill contrary to ‘protect animal’ was written to erase local ordinances that keep store from selling puppies. These stores sell from puppy mills and citizens are learning this. The bill wants to keep stores in business and eradicate local rule by putting new rules on the stores when they won’t even follow existing ones. This reporting sounds like it was sponsored by store owners.

  • cindy kahn

    February 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Staff Reports: Whoever you are, please do your homework or stop writing. This is complete misinformation. Those supporters in blue shirts were puppy store employees, bussed in by their employers to support a bill, misnamed, which would keep pet stores, such as Petland, in business. Citizens, when educated, are horrified by the animal abuse in the puppy store business and have been fighting at the local level. As they become more effective, ie. having a bigger impact on this industry, the stores think it will be less time consuming to nullify all local ordinances keeping them from selling their puppy mill puppies.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn