MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Magic City might not be so magical for pet shops anymore, as city officials move forward with a plan to ban the sale of puppies.

According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, city commissioners met on Thursday to give tentative approval for a six-month moratorium on new stores selling dogs or cats.

The plan is to research the effects of the moratorium in order to reach a decision on whether or not to institute an outright ban.

Commissioners were pressured by the Animals Rights Foundation of Florida, whose spokesman said retail pet shops get their dogs from puppy mills. These mills are known for mass-breeding puppies in deplorable, unhealthy conditions.

Spokesman Don Anthony explained that puppy-mill dogs have severe health issues, usually landing in a publicly funded animal shelter.

“You and all these people pay to house, feed and eventually kill them,” he told the Miami Herald.

Commissioner Francis Suarez, who proposed the plan, reiterated that the moratorium is not a condemnation to the 13 pet shop owners in Miami.

Suarez told the Miami Herald, “What we’re doing is studying this issue for six months and making a recommendation to this commission on whether there should be an outright ban.”

Hallandale Beach Commissioner Michele Lazarow, an animal-rights supporter, told the commissioners she had investigated the Miami pet shops. In her findings, many of the stores were purchasing the dogs from puppy mills.

North Miami Beach is just one of many other South Florida cities to already ban the commercial sale of puppies.

Lazarow stated the lack of federal help to tackle the issue has forced the cities to take action.

“The reason the municipalities have taken control is we’ve given them ample opportunities to do that and they haven’t,” she told the Miami Herald.

None of the shopkeepers spoke at the meeting.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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