City of West Hollywood Bans Pet Store Cats And Dogs

by Michael

West Hollywood - Photo by 917press (Flickr)

West Hollywood - Photo by 917press (Flickr)

I have to trumpet the enlightened approach of the councilors and people of West Hollywood again. In 2003 West Hollywood banned the declawing of cats by veterinarians within the city. As I understand it they were the first in the USA to do this. Seven other cities followed until the state of California prohibited cities passing legislation that regulated vets!

......No person, licensed medical professional or otherwise, shall perform or cause to be performed an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure by any means on any animal within the city, except when necessary for a therapeutic purpose.......

In a forward thinking way they have now banned the sale of kittens and puppies in stores that have been breed in kitten and puppy mills (factory type production lines that priortise profit over welfare and which are fundamentally bad for cats and dogs).

The law was passed as recently as 2nd February as far as I am aware.

So what makes West Hollywood so enlightened. Why are they at the forefront of animal welfare legislation? I am told by an American that California is not typical of the other states of the USA, meaning the bans against declawing there does not mean that other states will follow.

The city is well-known for its nightlife, celebrity culture, and diverse atmosphere. The city has large gay, Jewish and eastern European populations. The area is informally referred to as "WeHo" (src: West Hollywood was the first city in the country to have a majority-gay city council (src:

Perhaps then it is the diversity and independence of opinion that makes for a more open outlook that is more able to see the wider issues and act. I feel that the culture in some parts of the USA is a little narrow and not open to change. That, though, applies to most places.

West Hollywood was the second city in the USA to refer to pet "owners" as pet "guardians" (On February 19, 2001). This was an early sign of their enlightened approach to our relation with domestic animals. I think that they should now change the word "pet" to "companion animal". But maybe that is too politically correct.

OK then, great news. And may the other cities follow. No, may the state follow - and why not?

Michael Avatar

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City of West Hollywood Bans Pet Store Cats And Dogs

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Feb 06, 2010 great news
by: kathy

Just this morning I was sitting at my table thinking about a certain Pet Shop in our area c alled Petland. My father was thinking about getting a "companion dog". He is 75 years old and is very partial to the schnauzer breed. We had them when I was growing up. Also a friend of his just got a very cute puppy. He went to Petland. I was unaware of this action. I have visited this store on various occasions. Mostly just to visit any kittens that they had because at the time I didnt have any of my current cats. This was about a year ago. The puppies are all in very small cages behind glass. They have about 40 cages all on one wall. They also have about 3 or 4 puppies in each cage. They have a nice fish section with salt water creatures. Im very against seeing live coral in any petshop. If you go through their store they have very limited pet supplies. The puppies are very expensive. The one my dad looked at was about 1500.00 dollars. It came with all the guarantees of course. They told him they could bring in a different puppy until he found one he liked. Most of their puppies look sickly and undernourished. I told him this definitly was puppy mill action and the puppies were probaly ones that no one wanted or the breeders couldnt get rid of. He decided to wait until spring for his puppy and I told him to let me help him in his search. They need to ban selling of cats and dogs in pet shops everywhere. Im glad for this action.

Feb 05, 2010 fantastic news
by: kevin kays hill sanctuary

this is fantastic news , now we need other states to follow, if one can do it why cant others follows

Feb 05, 2010 Companion Animal
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Michael, the title of "companion animal" will probably not be used here in the U.S.A. antime soon - not because it's too politically correct but that it is already being used to describe special needs animals.

Animals such as seeing-eye dogs, dogs/monkeys trained to reach things,turn lights on/off, hear doorbells/alarms for the deaf, open/close doors for the crippled/amputees, specially trained animals for autistic people, etc. are considered companion animals and are described as such in legal documents like apartment leases.

Federal law mandates that all domiciles allow companion animals (as described), regardless of whether or not pets are normally allowed because of their special circumstance. Any landlord/complex/management company that discriminates against these special companion animals are subject to hefty fines and censure including the loss of any federal/state/local subsidies they may enjoy.

Hollywood is a different world; sometimes it seems like they're on their own planet. Some things they get right like animal rights. Sometimes they don't like equal rights for gays. Go figure.

Feb 05, 2010 West Hollywood
by: Ruth

Yes this is good news and surely other cities must follow their example eventually.
I don't see how the AVMA and pro declaw vets can ignore the strength of feeling of anti declaw people for much longer.

Just look at this that Babz came across:

Quote from it "Animal welfare is the ethical responsibility of ensuring animal well-being. Animal well-being is the condition in which animals experience good health, are able to effectively cope with their environment, and are able to express a diversity of species-typical behaviors. Protecting an animal's welfare means providing for its physical and mental needs."

She says'Well surely cats have a physical and mental need to use their claws? For the sake of exercising their bodies and for their means of marking their territory?'
How I agree !
They've surely shot themselves in the foot with that statement,haven't they ????

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 05, 2010 And why not indeed....
by: Dorothy

I'm glad California is leading the way, but this is a big country. It is going to be hard work to get de-clawing outlawed all across the country.

It is an embarrassment to keep reading these nightmare stories that happen here in the USA. I'm so sure there are far more numbers of folks who are of like minds regarding animal cruelty, but we are not organized. Life goes on, and it is hard to see what goes on that isn't in front of our noses.

We can start by asking our own vet if they allow de-clawing in their practices - and if so,protest, then LEAVE. I'm happy to report that my vet office (with several vets) do NOT.

Keep up the good work POC and followers. Each bit of education that a new person sees goes a long way towards the goal.


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