WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — In a vote of 4-3, the Wichita Animal Control Advisory Board motioned to recommend that the Wichita Police Department draft an ordinance banning the commercial sale of cats and dogs within the city.
At the meeting, members of the public, including local pet store owners and rescues, were able to speak on the topic.
Hannah Spelts, the founder and owner and operator of Big Hearts 4 Little Paws Foundation, spoke in favor of the ban, saying that she actually had a Siamese kitten from one of the local Petland’s end up in her shelter.
“I understand that unless you’ve been the person holding a kitten while it takes its last breath, after you’ve spent every penny you have to fix her, that you might understand the darker side of pet care,” Spelts said. “But I, for a fact, know that these stores need to be banned immediately.”
Petland West Wichita owner Troy Hertel says he is hearing a lot of opinions and that people need “hard physical evidence” to back it up.
“If they start saying these opinions, ask them to provide the hard physical evidence to back it up,” said Hertel. “If they start saying these opinions, ask them to provide the hard physical evidence to back it up. Not by the Humane Society or the activists; you are part of the police department. I’m pretty sure we can find great investigators, detectives, that know how to investigate things. I’m pretty sure they can punch holes in whatever things they come up with.”
Members of the board also spoke on the topic. Some had strong opinions on the ban.
Patrick Atkins, who stated he has been a licensed private detective for 27 years now, says he is not impressed with any of the data or evidence that he has seen.
“It’s not done in a professional manner. It’s not done in a normal investigative documentation style or manner,” said Atkins. “I’m not here on this board to be in the business of putting people out of business.”
Other members of the board were longing for more answers.
“Do we even know if this is working in other cities,” asked Elaine Stephen.
According to Title 6 — Animals, the Wichita Animal Control Advisory Board must meet quarterly.