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City Council Gives Final Approval On Retail Pet Ban, Parking Restrictions

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council gave final approval today to a ban on the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in the city of San Diego, and to restrictions on parking oversized vehicles.

The ban on the retail sale of pets is designed to end the flow of animals from so-called "puppy mills,'' places located mostly out of state where animals may be kept in inhumane conditions.

Private sales from breeders and adoptions from rescue organizations will still be allowed. Chain stores like Petco and Petsmart frequently host adoption events by such groups.


The owner of the main establishment to be affected by the ordinance, David Salinas of San Diego Puppy, contended at a prior meeting that the puppies he receives are bred in humane conditions at sites he has visited.

"You're taking a largely regulated industry and going towards a shelter system that's not necessarily regulated as much,'' Salinas said. "All of our puppies -- as we've already said -- are vet-checked several times, so they're pretty healthy.''

He said he receives a lot of repeat business because he sells quality pets. He also said he has been under constant attack by extremists in the animal rights movement.

The item passed 6-2 on second reading, with council members Sherri Lightner and Scott Sherman casting the dissenting votes.

The amendment to the municipal code makes 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.''


The vehicles ordinance will prohibit the parking of oversized vehicles between 2 and 6 a.m. and within 50 feet of an intersection at any time.

Exceptions will be in place for delivery trucks and school buses, and residents will be able to apply for permits for recreational vehicles to park for 24 hours, giving owners time to load and unload for trips.

The ordinance was drawn up in response to numerous homeowner complaints that large vehicles block views and create traffic hazards when left along curbsides in residential neighborhoods.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who spearheaded the effort to pass the restrictions, said vehicles that are too big for neighborhoods cause public safety, quality of life and environmental problems.

It could take several months to a year to implement the ordinance because the part that affects beach communities needs approval by the California Coastal Commission.

The ordinance also passed on a 6-2 vote, with opposition from Lightner and Councilman David Alvarez.