Pet store owner defies ban on puppy sales

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SAN DIEGO – A pet store owner who refuses to follow a recently passed city law is in trouble with animal control officers.

San-Diego-PuppyDavid Salinas, CEO of San Diego Puppy in Grantville, shared video of a confrontation he had with San Diego County Animal Control officers at his store on Wednesday.

“We have to record this, because we know this is bogus,” said Salinas. “They’re strong-arming me, telling me I have to do business in a certain way. That is not our business model.”

Salinas’ store is allegedly in violation of a newly passed puppy ordinance, prohibiting any commercial sale of dogs, cats, or rabbits, unless the animal came from a local animal shelter.

The ordinance passed July 23 and was signed into law by then Mayor Bob Filner.  It became effective September 4.

Following a complaint lodged against San Diego Puppy, animal control officers visited the store Wednesday and tried to cite Salinas.

“To have to go on what they call the humane model is completely bogus for us,” said Salinas.  “We’re not prepared to sell larger dogs.  We’re not prepared to deal with the psychological issues that some shelter dogs have.”

On Thursday, Salinas personally delivered a letter to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith arguing against the ordinance. He cited it’s a violation of his rights including unreasonable search and seizure, due process and even the first amendment.

“We’re being persecuted falsely.  We basically are making it very clear this ordinance is illegal,” said Salinas. “We have the right to display puppies, that’s something about the freedom of speech.”

Salinas told Fox5, he was never warned the law was in effect.Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 5.36.48 PM

“Not a single letter or a single phone call. Nothing,” said Salinas.

Animal control officials said no warning was sent, but it’s clear the law is in effect.

“The ordinance was passed in a public session of the city council,” said Harold Holmes, Deputy Director of Animal Control Services.

The agency said the matter is under investigation and for now San Diego Puppy will not be cited.

“In this case, we did not see any sales taking place,” said Holmes.

San Diego Puppy now also has a store in Oceanside.



    Nanny knows best!
    The city is in full meltdown with no real mayor, and this is what our law enforcement is concerned about. Nice!
    Enjoy our Indian summer folks, the heat is on for another month!

    • Liz

      You… just made absolutely no sense. The city is not in complete meltdown, drama queen. We have an interim mayor. Animal Control enforces laws pertaining to animals. So this isn't creepy SDPD, waltzing in because they have nothing better to do but throw bricks into peoples car and solicit sexual favors. Law Enforcement isn't prioritized, just like government isn't prioritized. For example, just because there is a possible Syrian strike on the horizon doesn't mean we stop regulating sewage management or investigating Parks and Rec fraud. Animal Control will enforce animal control laws and they don't stop because we have an interim mayor or because it's been hot for a few weeks. Jesus…you know what…fuck it.

  • Connie

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Find another way to make your money than to breed poor defenseless animals. Come on people STOP BUYING from these creeps and adopt at the shelters. Save a life.

    • proud puppies

      whether you agree with the selling of puppies or not..and quite frankly, there is NO difference in selling a dog from a shelter thru a pet store or a puppy from a breeder thru a pet store..the fact of the matter is..the govt is being used to enable one business(shelters) to enjoy commerce while preventing the same type business(pet stores and breeders) from providing the same service.. could you imagine if Macys was only allowed to sell thrift store goods, because we should only recycle?

      • Emily

        Your comparing dogs to garments which shows right there what kind of a$$hole you really are slick. There is a HUGE difference selling your puppy mill dogs vice shelter dogs when 4 MILLION are put down each year. Find a better way to profit then with living creatures bred strictly for profit d1ck. Shelters make ZERO profit, do some damn research and educate yourself before showing your ignorant a$$

        • guest

          umm aren't many "shelter dogs " actually "puppy mill dogs"? Do you disagree with selling horses?? pigs?? cattle? sheep? goats?? chickens? ALL BRED OF THE DREADED PROFIT.. this country runs on profit. dick.. as for shelters being zero profit LOL surely you jest

  • KIKI

    I am sorry but this law is unconstitutional……I think that everyone should look at the shelters before deciding where to get their family pet from BUT it is not up to any city counsel members to say that
    "YOU HAVE TO DO IT OUR WAY!" – It is a gigantic load of crap!

    • Liz

      So you think that everyone should look at the shelters before deciding where to get their family pet, and thats OK. But if a group of people believe just what you believe, then petition, appoint to speak at a city council meeting, and work to gain enough support for a majority vote, then thats unconstitutional. Please explain to me what unconstitutional means. I hear it so often, I'm starting to think it's anything with which someone just doesn't agree. Individuals don't make the law. They petition and then majority voters decide the law. Hopefully you learned about this in High School history class. It's called democracy.

  • Guest

    So, you can literally drive to Oceanside and buy a puppy from the same store, but not in San Diego. Or, you just drive to another store in El Cajon, Santee, Poway etc. Nice job by the city counsel driving business out to the county.

    • Liz

      San Diegans don't want him here. He is driving himself away by selling sick animals to people. It wouldn't matter what city he goes to, the residents will petition the city council to ban commercial sale of pets. Oceanside residents are working on it right now. I talked to the protestors outside Oceanside Puppy and told them if they really want to do something about it, circulate a petition and schedule a appt to speak at a city council meeting. Protesting doesn't really help as much as going through the legal route. Not in all situations, but many times, it's just a lazy way of pretending you're trying to change things without actually doing anything.

  • L. Fine

    This country murders a reported 6 MILLION pets annually. Thats only 1/4 of the numbers since no shelter or animal control is required to report them. So its more like a conservative 10 million…ANNUALLY!!!!!

    There are well enough "Puppies" in California and bordering states in shelters that this man doesn't need to be breaking the law. A law I might add that was designed to start solving the over population explosion that pet stores like his have helped caused bu supporting large scale puppy breeders who mass produce living things like they are making candles and household goods to sell.

    Its actually about time some government body stepped up and said, "enough"! Where pet stores and animal sales are concerned! It's out of control and this pet store can go to any local shelter and find mixed *AND* purebred pups there… Its sad what lands in the doggie death camps these days!!!

    • proud puppies

      PROVE that 6 million dogs are killed..I can guarantee you cant prove it, because those numbers arent accurately reported. They are numbers made up by groups like H$US to further their agenda

      • LEC

        If you need "proof" you can look up every shelters yearly report for number of animals taken in, number adopted out, number returned to owners and number killed for whatever reason. It's not hidden and it's not rocket science. It's more like 4 million, with at least 1 million that could be returned to their owners (lost pets account for quite a few in shelters and many shelters could improve on reuniting pets/owners), and then you have 17 million homes looking for a new pet. If you just took 20% of those LOOKING to add a furry pet member to the family and had them AFOPT rather than go to stores like this there wouldn't be a shelter issue. Simple math. The industry this man supports is heinous, cruel and needs to be shut down.

    • guest

      murder ?? really then that is what shelters do ass well they murder dogs and cats everyday Every shelter worker should be arrested for animal cruelty and homicide if you really think pets are being "murdered". You compare the murder of a human to the killing of animals.. ASPCA states that only 2-10% of shelter animals com fro pet stores so your claim is a fabrication along with your other incorrect numbers regarding the number of animals killed in shelters.

    • Liz

      This is is California. We have laws limiting euthanasia so don't add us into your made up statistics. CA Penal code 599d states "It is the policy of the state that no treatable animal should be euthanized. A treatable animal shall include any animal that is not adoptable but that could become adoptable with reasonable efforts."

      That being said, the San Diego city ordinance is a start to combating deplorable conditions of puppy mills. San Diego Puppy and Oceanside Puppy gets their dogs from Hunte Corporation. There are also animal cruelty laws in this state regarding access to food, water, light, proper exercise, nutrition, socialization, movement, and confinement. Voters passed these laws. If David Salinas believes the laws that were voted for and passed should not apply to him, he should be cited. No one wants him here anyway. He can move to whatever city he wants and there will be a group of people who go to the City Hall and end up getting a ban passed.

  • srg

    @ l_ fine people supply and demand, most of what does not get adopted at the shelters no one wants. people are going to pay for puppies and that's never going to go away regardless of what laws are passed.

  • Elle

    Not only did Salinas know about the ordinance, he was at that City Council open session discussing this issue, in July. He spoke at it! Salinas said "Puppy mills do not produce healthy puppies — we have healthy puppies, I need to declare that, you need to understand that," Salinas told the committee members. Google his name and the name of his store, and see the damning evidence for yourselves. Shame on him for lying, and shame on him for exploiting helpless, defenseless animals for material gain.

  • Joe

    Please these statements about killing 6 million dogs a year is such a lie. That means the City would be killing 960 animals an hour every day.. That is simply not possible.. Many dogs are being imported from Mexico so the City Shelter can have dogs to adopt.. This is just another example of a City out of control. Over turn this bad law now.. Used to think San Diego was a place where smart people lived..maybe not so much any more.

    • valamondo

      Here's some information to help you understand the high shelter kill rate, as it is a nationwide issue resulting in $2 billion dollars in American taxpayer money spent every year to catch, house, euthanize shelter animals. It is indeed in the public's best interest to have shelter animals adopted.

      **How many animals enter animal shelters each year? And how many are euthanized?
      The HSUS estimates that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million are euthanized.

      **Why are there so many animals in animal shelters?
      Low adoption rates are one factor driving the high number of animals in shelters, but every year, millions of dogs and cats are relinquished by their owners—or rescued from the streets by animal control officers and private citizens—and brought to animal shelters. These circumstances leave shelters and rescue groups with a large number of animals in need of homes.

      The HSUS focuses on the root of the homeless animal problem by educating pet owners, helping them deal with behavior problems and other issues so that they can keep their pets for life. We encourage spaying and neutering to reduce animal overpopulation, promote adoption from shelters and rescues, and SEEK TO END THE MASS BREEDING OF DOGS IN PUPPY MILLS AND THEIR SALE IN PET STORES AND ON THE INTERNET.

      **Fiscal cost of euthanasia for communities (like San Diego):
      The price to the taxpayer to euthanize the millions of homeless animals that find their way into shelters each year is enormous. It costs taxpayers about $105 for an animal control officer to pick up a stray dog or cat, transport the animal to the shelter, provide food and water for the animal, euthanize the animal if not adopted, and send the body to the landfill. Animals that are euthanized instead of adopted out cannot recover any of these costs via adoption fees, and additionally incur the added costs of euthanasia and disposal not present when an animal is adopted.
      In the aggregate, public animal control programs cost $2 BILLION PER YEAR to operate, costs taken directly from the wallets of taxpayers. Therefore, regardless of what community members‘ sentiments or moral positions may be regarding euthanasia, the truth of the matter is that taxpayers supply the funding for the killing – and these funds are not trifling sums.

      So ultimately, it's in the PUBLIC'S BEST INTEREST to SUPPORT the adoption of shelter animals, not the sale of puppy mill dogs that are mass produced in cages that are stacked one on top of the other in a warehouse. That would be the common sense and SMART thing to do.


      • MDurham

        The H$U$ is an *animal rights*-led organization. BIG difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Quoting the H$U$ is quoting "propaganda mill" BIG LIES [favorite tactic of the Third Reich and a recommended tactic in Alinski's "Rules for Radicals"]. Witht hose who understand what they're about, the H$U$ has NO CREDIBILITY–they're just furthering their anti-breeder, anti-animal-use agenda.

      • guest

        absolutely untrue.. the shelters are subsidized by the government and they get paid for every animal they kill plus any HSUS information should be viewed with suspicion. Please note that even the HSUS does not list pet stores as a reason animals are in the shelters As for using the interenet to find a pet.. can you say PETFINDER? and almost very shelter uses the internet to sell dogs and cats so tell me again why we should not use the internet to find a pet..? as for being in crowded conditions.. ever been to a shelter?

        • Guest

          I am with a rescue group. Yes, we use Petfinder to "advertise" our adoptable pets. We never make money on any animal we adopt out.
          As far as the government subsidizing. Who pays for government programs? TAXPAYERS !!
          The animals in petstores come from puppy mills. Those are listed as a big cause of over-population. Uncontrolled over breeding for the sake of making a few bucks.
          Yes, I have been to shelters. Many in fact. I can guarantee you those purebred puppies you just have to have from the Petstores. Half end up at the local shelters.
          There are back rooms to all shelters that the public is never allowed to see. Trust me, they are over crowded. It's time people understand it's a community problem and we are all responsible. Whether we rescue, breed or just ignore the problem.

  • valamondo

    I'm curious then how the greedy jerk justifies selling puppies with psychological and health issues resulting from them being born in abusive, inhumane and unsanitary puppy mills… cuz that's what he apparently wants "the right" to keep selling.

  • WorkingGSD

    It's obvious he is commenting here. Claiming shelters are some business selling what equates to "thrift store goods". Ironically, the type of Average Pet Owner that gets a puppy through a store is most likely to give that dog up to a shelter down the road when it doesn't turn out to be Lassie. I have now met several new puppy owners who got them there, and often the dogs are horrible representatives of the breed. One didn't even remotely resemble a bulldog it was claimed to be! He's saying not equipped to deal with behavior issues, yet puppy mill dogs are bred with zero regard for temperament. It's such a joke. I fully support the right to go to a responsible breeder, but the public should be educated to go directly to the source, not a broker making a profit off of poorly breed, mass produced misery.

    • proud puppies

      sorry, I am NOT the pet store guy nor do I even know him personally. But I sure applaud his efforts to defend the rights of Americans, the very fact anyone thinks it is ok to use a govt to enable one business to survive and put down another is foolish

  • guest

    wrong again. even the animals rights group ASPCA states that less then 2-10% of animals in shelters come from pet stores. Who cares if they are "horrible representatives of the breed"? Yes public should be 'educated' but educating by law is the wrong way to do it.

  • Provoked

    "Breeding" any dogs or other beings should be against the law! There are untold numbers of innocent victims being killed because of greed! There are plenty of worthy animals waiting for a loving home. End the skin/flesh/fur trades! No one is a commodity!

  • Chalen

    Regardless of his personal feeling about it, it's the LAW and he should follow the law. If he doesn't like the law, then he should work within the boundaries of the law to get the law changed. What a dork.

  • Tony

    I am reading all of these comments and I cant help but wonder…
    Are these people who are so "outraged" by the pet store business checking their facts? Is this just more hate? "Make him"… That sure sounds un-Constituitional to me…
    Why did they "have to" make the law? Bigger question, why isnt there a grandfather clause in the law? Sounds like the law is not valid there.. Also, who was it exactly that passed this law? Did San Diego voters? NO!
    Why is it so important to stop this business? Who exactly has a valid complaint against this business for something they have sold?
    I see the photos of his shop and its BETTER then that of the Animal Shelter!
    Go see the "breeds" at the shelter.. Mostly PITBULLS… Why I question, should the elite be so upset about getting a pure breed locally? Is it competition for them?
    There are just so many unanswered questions with this diatribe that it makes me have to start checking into this. Are these people who want this business out Americans? Who exactly are these people who pass these laws without votes from the people? Why do they have so much freetime on their hands to attack a mans business?
    I do see that when facts are presented it makes these people who are against him go insane.
    Lets stick to the facts please?

    !) Who wanted the new law passed?
    2) Why was it not put to local vote?
    3) Why are these people who are pushing these laws allowed to do so?
    4) What is a "Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee"?
    5) Who does this "Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee" work for?
    6) Why do these people continue to circumvent the legal form of Constitutional Government?
    7) What is "it" that they want?

    I believe in a mans right to work and conduct business as long as it does not interfere with anyone elses Constitutional Rights. When laws are passed against a mans right to conduct legal business that is oppression and sinister…

  • kestrel

    oh boo hoo. he has to follow a law he doesnt like. following his reasoning, I could open up a day care and not feed the kids during the day, or have a restaurant and not clean it, ever, or have a construction business and not make my employees wear hard hats because someone would be 'telling me to do business in a certain way'.

  • NJ Cat Lover

    For those of you who think we have an overpopulation of dogs that were born in the United States, here is one more instance whereby US busybodies are "rescuing" foreign dogs.

    These "galgo" dogs probably cost more than the average pet shop or breeder pups, and certainly more than the average shelter mutt!

  • You'll Lose

    I'm shocked by the number of compassionless animal haters on this board. I guess that's Fox fans for you. Brain-dead and vacant of soul.

Comments are closed.