They want to take the bite out of consumers getting ripped off and animals being abused.
Maria Brunetto runs Cute Odyssey, a dog rescue in La Mesa.
Just last week she rescued three Shih Tzu’s that came from a puppy mill.
“You can see from how big their nipples are that they were just used for breeding,” said Brunetto. “They have never been near a human being, they have never been held or loved.”
Brunetto says the dogs she rescued were abused and neglected. They are missing teeth and all of them have been debarked.
“I think it’s necessary to have some kind of law to protect those dogs from being used to make money,” said Brunetto.
City Councilwoman, Marti Emerald, says unsuspecting consumers here in San Diego and in other places also pay the price. She says it’s not uncommon for consumers to purchase the offspring of these unhealthy, inbred dogs, often from pet stores.
“Consumers are coming in, they’re paying top dollar for these animals,” said Emerald. “Then they get the dogs home and they get sick, and the vet bills start rolling in.”
California was one of the first states to implement a lemon dog law.
The law says if you sell a puppy you must provide a health certificate for its lineage, and if it’s sick when it was sold, the consumer has to be reimbursed one and a half times those vets bills.
Wednesday, the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services City Council Committee discussed ways San Diego could go even further.
Emerald asked, “Is there more we can do locally to protect consumers and to protect animals? Is there more we can do to make sure we put the lid on a business that is exploiting innocent animals?”
The committee voted to work with the San Diego Humane Society and the Animal Welfare Coalition to draft an ordinance regulating the sale of puppies in pet stores.
Brunetto said that in the end, consumers have the power to put an end to puppy mills. She said consumers need to stop buying puppies from pet stores and adopt them from animal rescue groups and shelters.