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City Council Approves Ban on Pet Sales From Breeders

People can still purchase pets directly from breeders, just not in stores. City Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Mitchell Englander cast the dissenting votes.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-2 Wednesday to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits purchased from commercial breeders.

People can still purchase pets directly from breeders, just not in stores, which will be able to obtain non-breeder stock from the city's animal shelters or humane societies registered with the city's Department of Animal Services.

City Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Mitchell Englander cast the dissenting votes.

City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced the measure earlier this year with the intention of shutting down puppy and kitten mills and reducing the tens of thousands of euthanizations performed on unclaimed animals each year. The city euthanized more than 21,000 dogs, cats and rabbits in each of the last two fiscal years—about 37 percent of the animals impounded.

In a Patch poll, 63 percent of voters approved of the ban while 30 percent disapproved, saying rescue pets need a home but there shouldn't a ban against buying animals from commercial breeders in pet stores.

Pet shops and other retailers will have six months before the law goes into effect. The penalty for violating the ban will start at $250 for a first offense and goes up to $1,000 for a third strike.

Companion Animal Protection Society West Coast Director Carole Raphaelle Davis said the law would help end "the blood money contracts between puppy mill owners who abuse animals and L.A. pet retailers."

"We are relieved that finally, the cries of L.A.'s shelter animals have been heard. Puppy mills and cruel pet factories will fade into history at last," Davis said.

Misty Lee February 25, 2013 at 12:01 AM
The interstate commerce clause is being twisted here. By this logic anything can be sold anywhere to anyone as long as it came from out of state. This argument has been used to support everything from legalizing drugs to slavery. Fact is: for the protection of its citizens and also to protect even animals from exploitation and abuse laws are passed. The constitution says that the federal government is sovereign and that the federal courts interpret the constitution. We'll see if someone thinks they can challenge this all the way to the Supreme Court and actually win.
nonoise February 25, 2013 at 12:46 AM
How about making puppy mills in Los Angeles illegal instead of making it illegal to buy a pet. And, how about people that have illegal chickens and roosters in our neighborhoods? There are already laws that the city does not have the money or resources to enforce. This is a step in the right direction but Los Angeles needs to shut down its own puppy mills and not just stop the selling of animals.
Jay Stern February 25, 2013 at 01:22 AM
Los Angeles housing inspectors, building and safety inspectors, fire inspectors, police patrols and even "nosy neighbors" provide more surveillance than you can imagine. Illegal keeping of animals, like so many other violations, are noticed and acted upon. I don't think there are too many puppy mills in Los Angeles, are there? I always hear of them being out-of-state.
Jay Stern February 25, 2013 at 01:26 AM
Aw, nonsense! People have so many places to put money that too many hold off on adopting a shelter pet because they can't afford it. Our vet bills run to hundreds of dollars per year and our feed bills are at least $1,500. This means sometimes that we cut back on our own expenses so the animals are provided for. "Ethnic thing" indeed! Anyone can spout anything, Pat. Where is your evidence? I have mine.
Jay Stern February 25, 2013 at 01:29 AM
It doesn't even have to go that far. Our own Secretary of State refuses to prosecute cases where she "thinks" our state laws conflict with federal. What do you think will happen to a municipal ordinance restraining free trade?

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