City Council to take up ban on pet sales in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A proposal to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and
rabbits in pet stores and other commercial establishments in San Diego is
scheduled to be considered tomorrow by the City Council.

The proposed amendment to the municipal code would make it “unlawful
for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away,
transfer or sell any live dog, cat or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business
or other commercial establishment located in the city of San Diego, unless the
dog, cat or rabbit was obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal
control agency, a humane society or a nonprofit rescue organization.”

Pet stores would need to keep certificates that identify the sources of
their animals and make them available to animal control officers, law
enforcement, code compliance officials or other city employees.

The proposal was given an initial go-ahead in May by the council's
Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

A report to the committee said dogs, cats and rabbits bred for pet
stores are kept in inhumane conditions; are more likely to carry genetic
disorders; are poorly socialized; and too many end up being abandoned by owners
and going to shelters.

Committee Chairwoman Marti Emerald said the code change would protect
both animals and consumers.

The proposed ordinance is supported by the San Diego Humane Society and
SPCA, Animal Protection and Rescue League, Companion Animal Protection Society
and San Diego Animal Defense Team, which regularly stages protests outside pet

Dr. Gary Weitzman, CEO of the Humane Society, recently said the point of
the ordinance “is to encourage reputable and responsible breeding” and
adoption or sales.

“It will absolutely not affect backyard breeders, or hobby breeders, or
responsible, reputable breeders that are actually doing a great job at
providing great dogs that often aren't in a shelter or rescue environment,”
Weitzman said.

The owner of one pet shop, David Salinas of San Diego Puppy said at the
committee meeting that his store has been inspected by the Humane Society and
county Department of Animal Services.

“Puppy mills do not produce healthy puppies — we have healthy puppies,
I need to declare that, you need to understand that,” Salinas told the
committee members.

His employees said the store receives repeat customers and referrals,
which wouldn't happen if the animals were sick.

Others among the numerous opponents of the proposal contend that
shelters primarily offer pit bulls and Chihuahuas, and rescue groups are too
restrictive about who can adopt from them.

A dozen cities in California have banned the retail sales of animals,
including Chula Vista, according to the report.

Categories: KUSI