Council considers pet store ban on sale of dogs, cats, rabbits

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego City Council will soon consider an ordinance that would limit where residents can buy dogs, cats and rabbits.

Wednesday the City Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee heard a heated debate over the proposal, but ultimately decided to move forward. The ordinance will now go before the entire City Council for a vote.

The proposal would make 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.”

Supporters said it will help address a problem with puppy mills.

“This is an industry based on greed,” said Janice Hatch, San Diego Animal Defense Team. “There’s no question about it. It’s not based on this sweet loving feeling toward puppies. It’s based on making money.”

One particular store, San Diego Puppy, will be impacted severely if the ordinance passes. The Grantville business is run by David Salinas, who said he’s been unfairly targeted by animal rights organizations.

The groups have protested outside his store. A billboard by an animal rights organization, Companion Animal Protection Society, was also erected right above the store. It warns drivers of a “pet shop-puppy mill” connection.

Salinas spoke at the hearing insisting he runs his store properly and said he is a “moral and ethical person.”

“The proof that these puppies are not from puppy mills is the quality of puppy,” said Salinas. “You have to realize this. The puppies are beautiful and they’re perfect.”

San Diego resident Kira Schlesinger spoke against the ordinance, saying animal shelters don’t offer enough options for consumers.

“On a daily basis this is what you have,” said Schlesinger. “They are Pit Bulls and Chihuahua. There’s no avenue for pure bred puppies. I do not want a dog that s a Pit Bull that I don’t know where it came from.”

But supporters of the ordinance said it’s about protecting animals.

“There are laws that need to be enforced pertaining to the sale of live animals,” said Officer Randy Lawrence, Humane Law Enforcement for San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. “Not just a book or a bottle of water. And that’s what this is all about.”

Council members said the ordinance would not apply to home breeders. They also said stores could continue selling animals, if they obtain them from animal shelters or non-profits, as addressed in the ordinance.

Similar ordinances are already in place in Los Angeles and Chula Vista.


  • AnitPetOrdinance

    This ordinance is not well thought out nor is it fair for private pet store owners who actually follow all rules and regulations along with getting their dogs from federally regulated and approved breeders. Yes we all agree that non-regulated "puppy mills" are a terrible thing and need to be stopped but it's not okay to attack breeders who are following all laws and regulations. You can't put people out of business such as pet store owners who are more than willing to follow laws and obtain their dogs from federally approved places. This ordinance is making a person's choice of buying a puppy very limited and giving them the option of an animal shelter or a private seller on craigslist and driving out local businesses. As said in the meeting, it is very hard to find purebred puppies when you go to a shelter or an ad off the internet. Plus shelters and private sellers don't have a health warranty on their dogs which are provided when you buy from a pet store. Dogs are the same as human beings, some of them are bound to get sick, not every dog can be perfect. In the ordinance it says that these pet stores can set up adoption for their pets just like how PETCO does or other corporations. Miss Emerald stated that these local businesses would be just fine if they set up adoption for their pets and didn't sell them because big corporations like PETCO are still doing fine. But she doesn't realize they are doing fine because they are huge CORPORATIONS with huge CORPORATION MONEY. Smaller businesses do not stand a chance if this ordinance is passed. As the saying goes just because you find a few bad apples why throw out the whole bunch. The pet stores that were found to be inadequate and not following regulations have already been shut down, so why do other business owners need to suffer for the bad one's mistakes? Facts upon facts were brought up by the opposition building a good defense even with only a minute each to share, but the council didn't seem interested in listening. It was very evident during the meeting how biased the council was and seemed to already have made up their minds with Zapf leading the charge on passing this unfair ordinance to move further. This ordinance needs to be re-written dramatically to allow the sell of pets in pet stores who follow all rules and regulations along with safe and secure areas for their pets.

  • mzsmiley

    Congrats to San Diego council.
    NO animals should be sold through pet shops as a commodity.
    Wish other councils follow this example of humane behaviour.
    Wish that Australia would unite, also, against cruel puppy mills/factories and backyard breeders.
    Why buy when you could adopt an animal that will be gassed to make way for 'pure breds'.
    Quote. "You can tell a person/society by the way it treats it's Elderly, Disabled, Children, and ANIMALS". unquote

Comments are closed.