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.

The Lone Ranger November 02, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Lets see how this new law works out. Pet shops in LA will now only sell full grown, abandoned pitbull breeds, no more puppies. Who will be responsible for the liability when an abandoned pit bull bought at a pet store maims a child, the City Council members that imposed this ban on other breeds?
Alden Lim November 02, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I agree with you, Helen. I have 8 Dogs, including my 1 Dobberman. I love them so much.
Sherri Akers November 02, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Actually, many pet stores are already offering rescued pets for adoption. Our niehgborhood Kirby Pets almost always has a rescue dog they are offering for adoption in a pen near the register and an area filled with kittens at the front. There are so many wonderful breed specific rescue groups who would happily work with Pet Stores to add more avenues to find homes for these sweeties and they are usually pulling them from the shelters. I think this is a GREAT solution! Those who really must have a puppy in a specific breed will still be able to shop with breeders. No one loses.
Paul B November 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Another groundbreaking piece of legislation brough forth by Paul Koretz. (golf clap) The city is in shambles but this is where his priority is. Must be nice to be so oblivious.
MorganSM November 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Libertarian, this does not have anything to do with pitbulls. Open your eyes.
becca November 02, 2012 at 05:45 PM
It's about time. The fines for abuse of this law need to be bigger. I personally believe breeding dogs is immoral when so many are slaughtered each year in shelters. I'd like to see serious boundaries placed on breeders. & Pitbulls need to be bred out completely. Its obvious.
Jay Stern November 02, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Since the so-called "puppy mills" are often out of state, this ban interferes with interstate commerce and is very likely unconstitutional. I heard about it after I had already been promoting my solution to the euthanasia crisis. Specifically, give tax breaks to people who adopt shelter animals. If you want more information, refer to the October issue of "Pet Press," a publication distributed to veterinarian clinics, shelters, etc., in the western US. You can also visit my web site: http://jaylstern.com for other details. If elected to the CA assembly on 6 Nov, early legislation I will author will be to provide favorable tax treatment for people adopting shelter animals. You may notice that everything that government does is to make this or that illegal. Isn't it time that we do things more proactively than reactively?
Amanda Bennett November 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
If they sell to pet stores yes, however I've NEVER heard of a legitimate breeder selling their animals to stores as they usually have waiting lists and take very good care of their animals.
Amanda Bennett November 02, 2012 at 06:55 PM
@Jeffery Fizer Simply because someone has compassion for animals does not mean they do not relate to people as well. Not so long ago women and people with dark skin were also considered "possessions" and sometimes even pets wonder how you would have related to those people then.
Zookeeper91326 November 02, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I am against puppy mills, too, but I must agree with Kathy and Libertarian... Over-regulation is destroying our freedoms. Dictating morality is never an effective argument. What is being taken, Kaitlyn, is your freedom of choice.
The Lone Ranger November 02, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I went to the West Valley animal shelter last week, and 87% of the dogs there were pitbulls. Many of them incredibly vicious as you walked by their pens. So yes, it has everything to do with pitbulls. Pitbulls will be all that will be available to buy at petstores. That is the problem with liberals, they always have good intentions, but their laws typically have the opposite effect. This law will just reduce the free choice that LA citizens have to choose a pet (no puppies anymore), and put pet stores in LA out of business. It won't stop the euthanasia of pets at shelters, as very few people are going to buy an adult pitbull that has been abandoned.
Gina November 02, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Yes Melanie, people should also have the right to choose to buy kidde porn.
Pat Lukes November 03, 2012 at 06:32 AM
@Jeffery Fizer Most people relate to both people and animals and treat pets as family. You sound like you only relate to yourself and that ain't something to brag about given your comments.
Pat Lukes November 03, 2012 at 06:38 AM
@Libertarian Oy, you're clueless, really 87%? Did you do a survey and then figure the percentages. Your post made me laugh. You've probably never stepped a foot inside of a shelter. Thanks for the entertainment.
Rich Addams November 03, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Those manufactured breeds, the caca-poo-poos and whatever should be illegal as well. They are finicky, bite people a lot and are more susceptible to diseases. Ban those Franken-weenie kind of canines!!!
Jay Stern November 04, 2012 at 04:32 PM
The strong emotions expressed on this topic are encouraging. Yes, "encouraging." People really CARE about abandoned and stray animals, even though their solutions and attitudes span a considerable range of ideas. I'm not convinced that piling new laws at the local level onto existing laws is the answer. Encouraging people to adopt shelter animals by financial incentives is one way to reduce the horror of euthanasia. I have developed a questionnaire to survey attitudes toward this idea. If you wish to participate, here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/THGDXBG I hope you take the survey and stay in touch to help solve this real and terrible social problem.
Pat Lukes November 04, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Well, I'm convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that piling this new law on the local level is the answer. People are already encouraged to adopt shelter animals, but this will now free up cage space for the 'throw aways'. Sometimes you need to take charge to save lives and this is EXACTLY what was done here. I'm satisfied the right decision was made, more laws or not.
Pat Lukes November 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM
BTW...took your survey. You're making this political by suggesting tax incentives? This is social, not political. Try fixing something that's still broken. We fixed this already. GEEEEZZZZZ...you sound out of touch.
mimi November 05, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Rescues - YES Breeder - Depends on the reputation of the breeder. Please check first. Pet Shops - Hell no! They are notorious for buying from puppy and kitty mills.
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Pat Lukes February 24, 2013 at 05:15 PM
I'd love for you to witness the euthanization of the animals at your local shelter. Then when they're finished, I'd love to drive you to another shelter to watch and so on...we could do this until you get it. It doesn't have to happen if people will stop breeding, spay and neuter their pets and take responsibility.
Pat Lukes February 24, 2013 at 05:19 PM
@george. Thank you...maybe those pictures should be posted so the people who don't get it, will see what happens to the unwanted animals.
Pat Lukes February 24, 2013 at 05:24 PM
I would like to reiterate what Victoria K said early on, in this comments page. Listen up Haters: She said (and everyone who knows agrees) that any legitimate Breeders will not sell their puppies or kittens to a pet store. Their litters are hand raised and they have waiting lists for adoptions. They're careful about who they adopt to. Sometimes we need laws when we can't control ourselves and this time we needed a law because we cannot control ourselves. I'm over the moon that this law has been passed.
Jay Stern February 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM
I doubt that this ordinance is constitutional. Read "restraint of free trade," the commerce clause of the constitution. Does this mean that I (a) like puppy mills or (b) wish more animals to be murdered? No. Not at all. It does mean the solution should not add more laws. When I was running for CA Assembly, I promoted a plan to offer tax incentives to those who voluntarily adopted shelter animals. I continue to believe that is a better way of solving the problem. But there is lots more: we care for feral cats, too. We capture, spay and neuter, and release. We feed them, too. We need to revoke the stupid rule limiting the number of animals that people can care for. People can be educated as to what happens when these poor creatures are abandoned. It is not right. Regardless, the ban on sales is NOT the way to go.
Pat Lukes February 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM
@Jay Stern...well, here's the deal. Nobody adopts an animal because they need a tax write-off. I'm going to be blunt here. There is an ethnic thing going on in LA. There is a culture here where you don't have to work because you sell off litters. You make money off your animals. I've seen it over and over again. Animals are dispensable. A portion of the pet owners will never have their pets spayed or neutered because their culture doesn't teach responsible pet ownership. TNR has helped immensely, but let's get rid of the breeders. We have MILLIONS of animals that need homes so let's not make more. I am a believer that we do need to limit the number of animals per household. We could be a little more flexible as to the type, i.e., not 3 cats and 3 dogs, but 6 cats or 6 dogs. We do need limits to insure that the owners can adequately care for their pets. Have you never watched the hoarder shows? We need to govern those who cannot govern themselves and animals need laws to protect them.
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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