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San Diego Proposal To Ban Retail Sale Of Dogs, Cats And Rabbits Moves Forward

A San Diego proposal to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and commercial establishments was approved Wednesday by the City Council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

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A proposal to ban the retail sale of pets in San Diego aims to eliminate inhumane animal mills and encourage adoptions from shelters.

The ordinance will now go to the full City Council for final approval.

The proposal is aimed at curtailing puppy mills and addressing the inhumane conditions in the puppy mill industry.

If passed, it would would be "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."

Animal advocacy groups report 99 percent of canines sold in pet stores come from inhumane puppy mills, which fail to provide adequate veterinary care.

Gary Weitzman, president of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, said the ordinance would help find more homes for the 45,000 animals that come through the shelter system in San Diego County.

"Puppy Mills are nothing short of commercially sanctioned animal cruelty. And nothing endorses this industry more than the sale of animals in pet stores," said Weitzman in a released statement.

David Salinas, the owner of one puppy retail store in the city, told committee members he is a moral and ethical person.

"Puppy mills do not produce healthy puppies -- we have healthy puppies, I need to declare that, you need to understand that,'' said Salinas, CEO and founder of San Diego Puppy Inc.

In an earlier interview, Salinas told KPBS, "The majority of people want a legitimate pet store that deals with legitimate breeders. We’ve done everything right in San Diego, and the reason we continue to prosper and grow is because we have a lot of referrals and repeat customers."

If passed, San Diego would become the 32nd city in nation with a retail pet ban.

The ordinance is backed by the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, Animal Protection and Rescue League, San Diego Animal Defense Team and Companion Animal Protection Society.

Evening Edition

San Diego is considering a ban on the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits. KPBS reporter Susan Murphy tells us the idea is to encourage more adoptions from shelters.

City News Service contributed to the information in this report.

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Avatar for user 'DIZZY'

DIZZY | May 2, 2013 at 12:19 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

This scheme by the Government is simply to shut down competition from the humane society of san diego. Simply stated ( now the city and county gets all the revenue from the sale of cats and dogs and can grow that buearocracy to huge numbers therefore employing hundreds more people on the taxpayers dollar.

I wonder if private parties will still be able to sell their own pets or even give them away to friends or family?
More regulations ,rules, and laws we just don't need.

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Avatar for user 'MaryLaHay'

MaryLaHay | May 2, 2013 at 7:19 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Good grief. Not everything is a conspiracy! This is actually all about animal welfare. Deal with it.

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Avatar for user 'dougwilliams'

dougwilliams | May 3, 2013 at 12:03 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Mary La hay is a well know animal rights supporter Dizzy is correct.. even the ASPCA says that only 2-10 percent of dogs in shelters come from pet stores and also that over 20% of pets sold from shelters are returned to the shelter. I wonder how many dogs are returned to the pet store compared with that number. We do not need this law.. especially when San Diogo has many "imported' dogs from mexico that end up in the shelter. and Dizzy is correct .. hobby breeders will be nest because shelters do not want the competition of well bred animals when they can get free animals and sell them Interesting when a "bust " occurs the animals are always from "puppy mills" but are usually ready to sell at the shelter within days
and yes hobby breeders should be afraid.. you are next on the list for elimination. shelter do not want the competition
more rules regulations and unnecessary junk laws passed by people who have not else to do with their time except put working people on the streets

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Avatar for user 'Time4Liberty'

Time4Liberty | May 3, 2013 at 1:31 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Did you know that rescue groups in San Diego import dogs from outside the area, and even from Mexico? And now, these same groups are supporting a ban on the sales of puppies bred by licensed ethical breeders here in the US. The animal rights fanatics prefer for NO animal to be purposefully bred, ever. What better way to ensure that than to force all pets sold to be sterilized "rescues".

"Gary Weitzman, president of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, said the ordinance would help find more homes for the 45,000 animals that come through the shelter system in San Diego County."

Reality check.

This is not about finding homes for shelter animals. There is a grand total of ONE pet store in San Diego. Shutting them down will have vitually NO EFFECT on the shelter population, and will not help even ONE shelter dog find a home. No, this is an ideological issue. This is all about institutionalized prejudice against pet breeders. It's all about demonizing pet breeders. It's all about making pet ownership more restrictive.

Currently, no adoptable dogs are killed in San Diego's shelter system. Ever. Because THEY ALL FIND HOMES.

"Animal advocacy groups report 99 percent of canines sold in pet stores come from inhumane puppy mills, which fail to provide adequate veterinary care."

What utter rubbish. Commercial pet breeders are among the most highly regulated of industries. VPI pet insurance reduced the rates for pet store puppies by 22% as compared to pets obtained from other sources. Why? Pet store puppies receive more veterinary care in the first 12 weeks of life than any other puppies, and, as a result, have fewer claims.

A Simi Valley "rescue" group sold puppies with parvo just this past January. Pet buyers who patronize pet stores and breeders are afforded legal protection by the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr act. Shelters and rescues are EXEMPT from this act, which means those who buy sick rescued pets have no recourse and are stuck with thousands in vet bills when they purchase a sick "rescued" animal.

What the proponents of this ordinance want to do is to trade a heavily regulated business for their own largely unregulated enterprise. This would encourage the growth of an underground market operating without any oversight.

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Avatar for user 'Karin6'

Karin6 | July 5, 2013 at 4:06 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Banning puppy mill pet sales is simply the right thing to do. The time has come to stop perpetuating the problem about pet overpopulation and to crack down on perpetrators. This is a great step to take in that direction. The video featuring David Salinas states that this is about competition. That is ridiculous. (Even if this was about competition, this proposition evens the playing field for homeless pets.) And the AKC defense... AKC standards mean nothing!. The AKC will give AKC registrations regardless of animal conditions as it is just a pedigree program that guarantees nothing. (That has been proven time & again with their attitudes regarding puppy mills.) Finally, cities are getting smarter! I hope & pray for the beloved animals of San Diego and that this ordinance comes to pass... Hopefully, it will soon be county wide!

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