BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Boca Raton’s new ordinance banning pet strollers takes effect today, April 1st, and protests for and against the new ordinance are set throughout the community.
“Dogs and cats need to walk,” said Susan Angellico of the national EPO — or “End Pet Obesity” organization. “I cringe every time I see someone in Boca pushing a pet in a stroller like it’s a baby. It’s not a baby. It’s a pet. Your pet should walk. Fat pets are costing American’s millions of dollars each year.”
But Libby Goldenberg, 52, sees it differently. She pushes her dog daily through Boca West and area shopping venues.
“My precious dog Mr. Fiddles is no less of a person than a person. He gets tired and should be able to be pushed through Mizner Park or Neiman Marcus in a stroller. The nerve of these people imposing their nanny state on us.”
It’s not just pet health. The ordinance was originally dubbed “Lenny’s Law,” named for Lenny Stein who suffered a massive heart attack in the seconds after looking in a stroller — at a Boca shopping center — expecting to see a baby. Instead, a miniature schnauser attempted to eat Lenny’s pinky finger.
The 68 year old went into cardiac arrest and died on the scene.
Litigation dragged on for years.
Basketball great LeShawn A. Tofue, now assistant deputy manager for the City of Boca Raton’s pet program, says he understands the passion of residents like Goldenberg. But the new ordinance, he says, is for the greater good.
“Fat pets are a burden on society,” he told BocaNewsNow.com, “and we as a community are taking a solid step forward. It’s a healthier way of life and we just can’t have another Lenny Stein.”
Ordinance 15-1798B calls for mandatory fines on the second offense, starting at $100 and escalating to possible pet impoundment.