The city of San Diego is one step closer to banning the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and other commercial establishments after the City Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee unanimously voted a proposed ordinance forward to be considered by the full City Council.
Under the proposed ordinance, no pet store would be allowed to, “display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, 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.” The goal of the ordinance is to fight puppy mills and their inhumane conditions. According to animal advocacy groups 99 percent of canines sold in pet stores come from inhumane puppy mills.
Not only would the ordinance help in the fight against puppy mills but assist in placing the many shelter dogs in San Diego. President of the San Diego Humane Society, Gary Weitzman, supports the ordinance and says it would help find homes for the 45,00 animals that come through San Diego County’s shelter system.
Although the ordinance would prevent pet stores from selling animals it does allow for the pet stores to work with the shelter system and rescues to help with pet adoptions, something Petco and PetSmart has already been doing. “That’s actually a model where adoptable animals from shelters and nonprofits and rescue groups are actually brought into those facilities to be adopted,” said Weitzman. “And that’s a win for everybody because we adopt animals that are homeless, and those commercial facilities, those stores get to increase their sales and have a good relationship with the community.”
If the full council passes the ordinance San Diego would become the 32nd city in North America to ban the sale of dogs in retail stores. Violating the ordinance would be a misdemeanor with a $250 fine for the first offense, $500 fine for the second and $1,000 fine for the third and any further violations.