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City Council Seeks to Ban Sale of Non-Rescue Pets

Paul Koretz, who represents parts of Studio City, spearheads the plan.

The Los Angeles City Council moved today to ban stores in the city from selling dogs, cats and rabbits that are not from shelters, humane societies or registered rescue organizations.

The council voted 11-1 to ask the City Attorney's Office to draft an ordinance banning the pet sales. Councilman Bill Rosendahl cast the dissenting vote.

City Councilman Paul Koretz, who sponsored the motion, said the ban would help eliminate puppy mills and reduce the city's animal euthanasia rates by trimming the overall pet population.

"Puppy mills are a very cruel practice with inhumane conditions that often result in the animals having many kinds of medical problems," Koretz said.

The approved motion also directed the Animal Services Department to report back on how the proposed ban, if enacted, would affect kill rates at city shelters and its economic effect on pet stores.

Koretz's motion also asks the department to craft a way to distinguish pet shops that comply by selling rescue dogs, cats and rabbits from stores that sell other live animals like fish and reptiles.

The ban on pet sales would got into effect six months after the ordinance is enacted and would be for a temporary three-year trial period.

KG April 18, 2012 at 02:03 PM
How will this impact those individuals who breed dogs and sell them directly? There are a number of people who, while not puppy mills, breed dogs and offer them for sale. Will they be allowed to continue? If not, what makes it appropriate to infringe on their right to earn a living? Also what about the family whose dog gets pregnant and they wish to sell their puppies? Do they have to add another layer of cost and first send them to a shelter or rescue, rather than dealing direct with the public. Personally I have obtained all my dogs from private fresh litters, as I prefer to avoid the high cost of purchasing from a store, rescue group and avoid the disease associated with shelters. Mne have all been "mutts" so there is no special rescue group for them.
carol kauf April 18, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I support this ban 110% Thank you Councilman Paul Koretz! I hope this ban will include private individuals that breed dogs to make money; this is a sad way to make a living! Breeding more dogs just so you can help your special puppy, while thousands of dogs are killed daily is immoral! There are thousands of homeless and beautiful dogs that need homes at the shelter and if someone can’t find a dog they like at the many different shelters in LA, then maybe they really shouldn’t be a dog owner! M
E.M. Fredric April 18, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Micro-management at its worst. Micro-chip the city council before it microchips you.
Kirk April 18, 2012 at 04:18 PM
You know I love the rescue animal thing and I have one myself but could everyone take a chill pill on the banning phobia that envelopes our society...good lord!
Richard Niederberg April 18, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I do hope that the $40 'adoption fee' collected when the rescue group that I sit on the Board of, adopts out a cat that we rescued, socialized and prepared for adoption by providing the shots for, and evaluating the new owner, does not constitute a 'sale'. We don't breed animals, only rescue them, and don't run a store, so I hope we're OK.
cassandra silver April 18, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Well, now I know how these things continue. I was amazed to see a crate of puppies sitting on the sidewalk next to the curb in a cold drizzle, as I walked along Sunset on my way toward Highland this December. Just in time for thoughtless, impulsive people who know nothing about the commitment to care for a living creature -to decide what a cute effect they could pull off by putting a bow around a baby dog's neck & thrusting into the a unsuspecting arms of someone special on their gift list. Has it not been established that millions of dogs and cats are killed in shelters every year in the US? Is preventing abuse, neglect and premature death =being overcontrolling?
cassandra silver April 18, 2012 at 05:01 PM
And --of course--THANK YOU for proposing what I'd assumed West Hollywood had already taken care of. A leader with a conscience is priceless.
Gina Felicetta April 19, 2012 at 05:31 AM
This is the first important step in putting an end to the senseless suffering, abuse, neglect and often death of countless innocent animals exploited for human profit. I hope all the other states in the the country will follow your magnificent lead. Thank you Paul for for getting this done, and thanks to all the Ciy Council members who voted for it, you are all unsung heroes! This made my day!
Lightnapper April 19, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Really! I vote they ban themselves....
Gerald Elekes April 19, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Why don't they actively target unlicensed apparently unregulated street/ad sales of dogs and cats from "backyard" breeders? I see dogs for sale all the time in North Hollywood and surrounding areas. I submitted several photos to this story documenting the activity. How about owners keeping unlicensed, unneutered/unspayed dogs? They don't unless a complaint is lodged. How is it possible to limit a pet store's business activity if they are properly licensed and obeying the law? L.A. banned the sale of ammunition. Did that reduce/stop the shootings and murders? No. Pet Mills are cruel and unethical. They should be targeted for enforcement, shut down, and boycotted-- but does that mean every pet store in Los Angeles is engaged in or supporting these type of pet mills? I have never purchased a dog from a pet store. It didn't seem right for me. I want to see where the dog came from, know it's background. But for some people this how they do it. Is that wrong? I have purchased a "working dog" from Germany. In the end, although free from hip dysplasia, he contracted an incurable cancer and died prematurely. How do we actually ever know? Currently, I have 3 rescue dogs, and I have worked actively in that area for 16 years-- feeding, administering medicine, cleaning kennels, re-training aggressive and problem dogs for adoption, maintaining several facilities physical plants, so I am fully aware of the problems associated with abandoned, abused, neglected animals. Enforce the law first.
Olivia Melikhov April 19, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Congrats on moving forward with the ban, Los Angeles! Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. Help the ASPCA take a stand against this horrible industry and sign our pledge – if a pet store sells puppies, don’t buy anything there! http://bit.ly/NoPetStorePuppiesPledge - Olivia, ASPCA Social Media Manager

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