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Humane Society Issues More Than 100 Citations For Violations Of Pet Sale Law

A Shiba Inu stands on top of a ramp on an agility course in San Diego, April ...

Photo by Claire Trageser

Above: A Shiba Inu stands on top of a ramp on an agility course in San Diego, April 25, 2019.

The San Diego Humane Society announced today that its Humane Law Enforcement division conducted a one-day sweep of pet stores and issued more than 100 citations for violations of a partial state ban on the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.

Assembly Bill 485, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, requires pet stores to get their animals from a partnered shelter or rescue center in an effort to curb the sale of pets from so-called puppy mills and kitten factories that breed animals for sale en masse, often in inhumane conditions.

Humane Law Enforcement officers issued 39 citations to Broadway Puppies and 38 to Bark Avenue, both in Escondido, for failing to provide a documented agreement with a public or private animal shelter or rescue organization, according to Humane Society spokesman Dariel Walker. Officers also issued 25 citations to Pups & Pets in Santee for improper signage on the cages holding its available animals, he said.

Representatives of the three pet stores could not immediately comment on the citations.

"It could be any violations, from the animals not actually coming from the rescue to having them not posted correctly or any kind of health certificates that are not done that need to be in compliance with the actual `pet shop' law that we have," Senior Humane Law Enforcement Officer Kristina Rhoades said of the violations for which pet stores can be cited.

The citations were issued during a countywide sweep Wednesday of pet stores under the Humane Society's purview. Last July, the county's Department of Animal Services ceded nearly all countywide animal-control duties to the Humane Society, save for unincorporated areas of the county that are served by the department's shelters in Carlsbad and Bonita.

"My advice is beware," said Humane Law Enforcement Officer Allen Villasenor. "As a brand-new law takes effect, people will use different methods to try to circumvent the law and at this point, it's our job to make sure everything is in compliance. I always suggest looking into shelters first, go to the adoption agencies first and see if you can find the right fit for your family there."

Residents can report possible violations of the state pet sale laws by calling the Humane Society's Law Enforcement division at 619-299-7012.

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