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Vista Bans 'Puppy Mill' Sales

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Vista has become the sixth city in San Diego County to ban retail pet stores from selling dogs and cats bred in out-of-state “puppy mills.”

The City Council vote was 3-2.

Vista Councilman Cody Campbell initiated the item and supported it, along with Mayor Judy Ritter and Deputy Mayor John Aguilera. Campbell said no such retail pet stores exist in Vista currently, but the vote prevents store owners from relocating to Vista as neighboring cities ban their business.

“The Vista community isn’t going to stand for retail pet stores moving in and selling dogs that are bred in inhumane conditions,” Campbell said. “It’s important that we join the growing number of cities in San Diego County that recognize that animal welfare is an import issue to their constituents.”

Vista joins the cities of Oceanside, San Marcos, San Diego, Chula Vista and Encinitas in banning puppy mill sales.

Oceanside and San Marcos have allowed exemptions for puppy breeders who breed fewer than 20 animals a year and sell the pets in the same town where they were born.

Oceanside is still working to enforce its law on the “Oceanside Puppy” store, which owner David Salinas moved to North County after San Diego passed its ordinance.

Campbell said the city of Vista subsidizes the Humane Society to the tune of $450,000 a year, and encouraging the purchase and adoption of pets from shelters is a good public investment.

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