Proposed city ordinance would ban sale of animals on Lufkin roadsides

Ward 6 City Council Member Sarah Murray with her pets.
Ward 6 City Council Member Sarah Murray with her pets.
Nora Underwood is a dog breeder.
Nora Underwood is a dog breeder.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Several dog breeders meet to prepare for war, fighting to keep selling their animals around Lufkin.

Across town, Ward 6 City Council Member Sarah Murray hopes she can get enough votes to stop the breeders.

"The puppies that are for sale, cats too, even birds, these are from what I call puppy mills," Murray said. "They'll tell you they're raised in kennels, but if you want to buy a registered dog and know its bloodline, you go to the kennel. You don't go to a tent on the side of the road."

"We are reputable breeders," breeder Nora Underwood said. "We vaccinate our puppies. Our puppies come with health guarantees. They are vet checked."

The proposed ordinance would prohibit the selling, displaying, or even giving away animals on roadsides, commercial parking lots, garage sales, and public property.

If it passes, those in violation would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by an up to $500 fine.

"It does not look good, it does not bode for the humane conditions of the animal," Murray said. "It's just tacky."

"It really frustrates me," breeder Betty Byley said. "We have fans with generators to run them to put on the puppies and ice packs that they lay on and we have a vet."

"I think the respectable kennel owners, I think they should sell the animals, I'm glad they have the opportunity, but I want them to sell them on their ground, not on the city parking lots or on the sideways or roadways of Lufkin," Murray said.

The city manager said they support the ordinance and in fact, the animal control director had already proposed the idea when Murray was elected and began pushing it forward.

Further, many of the breeders said they are registered with the American Kennel Club and the Continental Kennel Club and the animals they sell stimulate the local economy.

While the breeders prepare for their voice to be heard, Murray said her pet project will happen.

The breeders plan to meet with the Mayor Wednesday to get on the agenda.

They're inviting East Texans to come to the August 2, 2011 city council meeting to show their support.

It takes two readings to approve an ordinance and four out of seven council members to pass it.

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