National City takes another step towards banning retail sale of pets

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. -- National City council members voted 4-to-1 Tuesday evening to introduce an ordinance banning the retail sale of dogs, cats or rabbits at pet stores within the city.

If passed, the city ordinance would work to strengthen an already existing state law. That state law, AB 485, went into effect January 1. It says pet stores must exclusively work with shelters, rescues or legitimate charity groups when looking for cats, dogs or rabbits to sell.

In May, the city council voted 4-to-1 in favor of drafting the ordinance. Tuesday's vote meant city council will allow that ordinance to move forward.

David Salinas, manager of National City Puppies, believes the mandate would put him out of business.

"The ordinance destroys the successful business model for adopting pets and 20-plus long-standing employees and families would lose their jobs," said Salinas. "Do they not matter?"

Others also spoke out in support of Salinas, including Vice Mayor Ron Morrison who used the treatment of cows as a comparison for the pet ordinance.

"I guess next week we will have another animal rights group coming here and saying no more dairy products, and no more carne asada tacos or hamburgers," said Morrison.

Morrison was the only council member to vote against the ordinance both in May and again Tuesday.

Advocates were quick to clarify what National City is proposing, only falls in line with what already exists as state law.

"They can go to a reputable breeder and if they want they can choose to spend $5,000 on a dog," said Leslie Davies.

"This is not a taking away anyone’s choice," Erin Riley-Carrasco said. "This is a consumer fraud issue and I believe AB 485 passed, so I'm confused as to why we are still here arguing."

The ordinance will go before city council again for a formal reading the first week of September.

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