L.A. mulling ban on retail stores selling commercially bred pets

The Los Angeles City Council is considering an ordinance to prohibit the selling of commercially bred pets in retail stores for at least three years.

The Daily Breeze reports that the proposed ban would still allow retail stores to sell pets that come from rescue groups or shelters, which would support the ordinance’s goal to help animal shelters reduce overcrowding and avoid forced euthanasia.

According to the Daily Breeze, the city of Los Angeles took more than 57,000 animals into its shelter system in the 2011-12 fiscal year. The city reportedly had to euthanize more than 21,300 of those animals. Those figures led City Councilman Paul Koretz to address the problem by pushing for stricter rules regarding pet sales.

The proposed ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for any person to sell any live dog, cat or rabbit in any pet store, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the City of Los Angeles, unless the dog, cat or rabbit was obtained from an animal shelter or a humane society located in the City of Los Angeles, or a non-profit rescue and humane organization registered with the Department of Animal Services.”

Violators would face an administrative citation and $250 penalty for the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third violation. The ordinance would expire on June 30, 2016, unless it was extended by city council.

Pet store owners are feeling extremely threatened by the proposed ban because they say it will likely force them to shut down, said the Daily Breeze article.

The president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, Michael Canning, told the Daily Breeze that the ban would unnecessarily punish pet stores that follow the rules and don’t obtain dogs from puppy mills.

“Anybody that would engage in substandard breeding already doesnt follow the rules," Canning said. "This will just drive people to sell their puppies on the Internet or some other unregulated way like the flea markets or out of their trunks on the street."

The ordinance has yet to be voted on in Los Angeles, but other California cities have already passed similar bans, including Irvine, Chula Vista, Huntington Beach, and Laguna Beach.

Read more of this story on the Daily Breeze website

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