COBB COUNTY, Ga. — It was a packed house Tuesday night at the Cobb County Board of Commissioners meeting.
They're considering numerous amendments to the county code, but a proposal to ban the sales of cats and dogs in pet stores brought out lots of animal advocates.
They sat side by side with their signs and buttons, waiting for their turn to speak, hoping to convince commissioners to vote in favor of the ban.
"Various parts of Georgia have different problems. For example, rural parts of Georgia have lots of puppy mills," said Claudine Wilkins, an attorney who works as an animal welfare advocate.
Wilkins said this is a local issue Cobb County needs to address.
"I do believe local jurisdictions should have some say in how they treat animals in their locality," she said.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr issued his opinion last month on this issue, saying cities can't ban sales of cats and dogs in pet stores. But, Wilkins said there are already counties and cities that do this, including Fulton and Cherokee counties, and the cities of Centerville, Atlanta, Canton, Sandy Springs, and Senoia.
Advocate Meredith Blanchard said the board needs to consider the implications of allowing the sales of cats and dogs.
"Those implications are for animals, they’re for community and public health, and for consumers," said Blanchard.
Wilkins said she thinks the board won’t sit still with this issue.
"I think there are so many advocates pushing for this that something’s going to happen," said Wilkins.
11Alive was told the board intends on withdrawing the proposed ban from its code amendment package. Chairman Mike Boyce’s office told 11Alive the meeting was just a public hearing.
There will be another public hearing on these same issues at their next meeting on February 11.