Los Angeles considering a 3-year ban on the sale of commercially bred dogs

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a Los Angeles shelter dog

City officials in Los Angeles will consider a proposed ordinance that would put a three-year ban on the sale of commercially bred dogs, cat and rabbits in pet stores this month. The main goal of the ordinance is to help with overcrowding in L.A. animal shelters and reduce the number of animals that those shelters have to euthanize.

Shelters in Lost Angeles took in more than 57,000 animals last year. Of the 35,405 dogs they took in 25 percent were euthanized.  There isn’t an adoption deadline at city shelters, but limited space makes it difficult for animals to stay at the shelters long. Some animals are lucky to be at the shelter 30 days before they are put down.

Los Angeles wouldn’t be the first city to ban the sale of commercially bred pets, but a ban in Los Angeles could have a significant impact. “Because of the population of Los Angeles, and because of the important role Los Angeles plays culturally on the national stage, a ban would have reverberations nationally,” said Nick Nassuet, a special investigator for Last Chance for Animals based in Los Angeles.

Paul Koretz is the City Councilman behind the proposed ordinance and his ultimate goal is for the city of Los Angeles to have no-kill shelters. “That’s going to take a tremendous amount of work and many steps. This is just one step in that direction,” Koretz said. The ordinance would permit businesses to sell dogs, cats or rabbits but only if they are from an animal shelter or a nonprofit humane organization that is registered with the city’s Department of Animal Services.

Some pet industry representatives believe the ban will only hurt those who are already responsible pet stores. “Anybody that would engage in substandard breeding already doesn’t follow the rules,” said Michael Canning, president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council based in Washington D.C. Canning fears the ban will cause people to resort to the internet or other unregulated venues to sell puppies. Canning also is concerned that there is no evidence that those who want a purebred pet will go to an animal shelter if they can’t get one from a pet store.

However, Shannon von Roemer, owner of a dog boutique in Los Angeles doesn’t see how humane breeders will be affected. “This isn’t about going to a reputable breeder and getting the dog of your choice, this is about trying to stop people who just want a pet from going to a pet shop and creating the demand for puppy mills, “ von Roemer said. “If people want a certain dog and really make the conscious effort of finding a reputable breeder, they deserve getting that dog. If it’s not about a particular breed and just about getting a cute puppy, there’s no reason not to adopt a rescue.” Councilman Koretz agrees that most people who shop at a pet store are looking for a cute dog, not trying to find a perfect purebred animal.

Koretz is confident that the ordinance will pass and it will lead to more adoptions at Los Angeles city shelters. If so Los Angeles example could lead to many other cities doing the same.

7 thoughts on “Los Angeles considering a 3-year ban on the sale of commercially bred dogs”

  1. backyard breaders are going to have a hayday with this one. They need to get to the sorce of the problem. But then what could one expect from politions that think they know everything and in reality know very little about the big picture. So long as its a feel good sulotion there making themselvs fool good. D-A of the day.

  2. A pet store would not be allowed to sale purebred dogs but a backyard breeder with a Los Angeles City breeder permit, abiding by the rules, would or is allowed to sale his or her dogs. Something is wrong with this scenario, it’s easier for a backyard breeder to sale puppies than a pet store. Attacking the pet stores is not the answer. First, animals under the law are considered as property. A business should have the right to buy or sale any property from or to whomever. Now, the goverment collects a pet store fee, inspects and dictates that the business has to buy the property from them or their affiliates.? This sounds like a form of extortion.

    The problem is backyard breeding. Accidentally or intentially we need animals control departments to actively enforce spay and neuter and pick up all the stray dogs running the streets possibly breeding. Most of the stray dogs at the shelter are not purebreds and most are not from puppy mills. Educate the public and active enforcement in the neighborhood where the animals are picked up from. This has to be done if we are to truly become a no kill city.

  3. Define “backyard breeding.” Definitions are important. There are serious, conscientious AMATEUR breeders, and they must be distinguished from random people who pump out dogs.

  4. why can’t I share this on FB? 🙁

    & I think this needs to be a permanent thing in all 50 states! Besides Elite breeding kennels. Which need to be far & few in between… sorry but there are plenty other ways to make $$ people. Get off your high horses!

  5. Many breeders do not breed to make money. The first people I knew who bred dogs were a wealthy family that had 3 pet St. Bernard’s, had one litter per year while the dogs were young, and gave or sold (at nominal cost) the dogs to similar families after raising the puppies to 8 weeks. It is ludicrous to regard that practice as a “business” requiring a license. These dogs are not ending up in shelters – except for reasons like bad divorces or bankruptcies, which is not a result of the breeding.


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