By a narrow vote of 4 to 3, the Lufkin City Council has voted down a proposed city ordinance that would have regulated the practice of selling domesticated animals on roadsides and in parking lots inside the city. 

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The ordinance would have required breeders and sellers to be licensed by the city animal control department, pass a pre-licensing inspection, and have written permission from the owner or manager of a commercial parking lot allowing the breeder to sell there.

Council member Sarah Murray proposed and voted for the measure. Murray says she's disappointed it didn't pass, but she's optimistic the state legislature will pass a law that will regulate these kinds of pet sales.  Murray also says she and other animal rights activists will continue to boycott stores that allow pet selling on their property.

Council member Don Langston, one of the four no-votes, says there's no question that some abuses are going on, but he doesn't think it rises to the level where the city should regulate the practice, or force property owners to forbid the sales.

The pet sellers were also against the ordinance, because selling pets is a major source of income for them.

So, even though most puppies sold this way come from unregulated puppy mills, it appears selling puppies and other critters on the roadside and in parking lots will continue to be part of Lufkin's "ambience."   Welcome to east Texas.