National City ordinance to ban pet shops likely headed for ballot

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. -- National City's controversial pet shop ordinance will likely be heading to the ballot for voters to make the final decision after a successful referendum attempt by a pet shop owner.

Karen Clayton is one of many pet advocates who fought hard to get the city to support banning the retail sale of pets. The city council was largely on board, passing an ordinance 4-to-1 in early September.

"My reaction is one of utter shock," Clayton said Wednesday.

Not backing down every step of the way was National City puppy owner David Salinas who, almost immediately after the vote, began collecting signatures for a referendum.

“To take the decision out of the politicians and place it in the hands of National City citizens,” Salinas said outside the city clerk's office on the day he turned the signatures in.

Wednesday, the National City city clerk confirmed that of the nearly 3,500 signatures turned in, 2,507 of them were found to be valid. It's the exact same minimum number needed to qualify for referendum.

"Fishy. Very, very fishy. There’s just questions all over the place with this," Clayton said.

Salinas did not respond to FOX 5’s request for comment.

The referendum will be on next Tuesday’s city council agenda. City council has two options, repeal the ordinance or vote to put it on the 2020 ballot.

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