San Diego City Council Votes To Ban Retail Sale Of Pets

By Elisa Black-Taylor
Kitten at a pet store

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

According to a July 9 post by ABC10 News, the San Diego City Council has now banned the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits on a retail level. This means that a person looking for a new pet can no longer go into a pet store or other commercial business in the city and buy a pet.

Los Angeles has already passed this ordinance, and now San Diego becomes the second largest city in the nation with such a ban. There are a dozen cities in California who have a similar ban.

This has not been an easy issue for San Diego. Dozens of protestor’s from both sides gathered before city hall on Tuesday to express their opinion.

Those who welcome the bill see it as a way for more shelter and rescue pets to find a home, while at the same time cutting down on pets that came from a puppy mill type environment. Once the ordinance passes a second reading, all animals sold will have to come from a shelter, rescue organizations, animal control, code compliance officials or city employees.

This second reading will likely pass, as the first was approved by unanimous vote.

The amendment to the ordinance reads:

“unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer or sell any live dog, cat or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the city of San Diego, unless the dog, cat or rabbit was obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, a humane society or a nonprofit rescue organization.”

David Salinas of San Diego Puppy, says he will go to court or state legislators if the amendment passes the second reading.

Salinas, as well as many others, believe the revised ordinance will hurt the honest pet shop owners who get the pets they sell from reputable breeders.

Those who support the ban hope it will stop the number of puppy mills dogs that come into California from other states. The ban isn’t meant to hurt the small business owner, but to get an upper hand in puppy mill type situations.

Private breeders who adopt to the public won’t be affected. Neither will those who offer non-profit adoption (like PetSmart and Petco), because they work through partnership with rescue groups local to their area.

Pet shop owners believe more effort should be made in preventing the sale of puppy mill dogs, rather than creating laws that hurt small business owners. Some pet shop owners will most likely be forced out of business when this takes effect.

Readers, what are your thoughts on banning the sale of dogs and cats (as well as rabbits) by privately owned pet shop owners? Is this another attempt at big government to push aside the small business owner, or will the ban help prevent the mass sale if animals, which will most likely improve the quality of pets sold to the residents in the city of San Diego?


13 thoughts on “San Diego City Council Votes To Ban Retail Sale Of Pets”

  1. I feel strongly about this because animals in pet shops are treated as a commodity which is wrong. I think its fantastic news and they should do it in the UK as well. Pet shop owners sell to un-vetted people who are going to to God knows what to the animal. The pet shops only think about profit NOT animal welfare. The animal is sold un-neutered, possibly sick. Why allow the sale of pets from pet shops when rescue centres are constantly full to bursting point? It makes absolutely perfect sense to ban the sale then the rescues can re-home healthy neutered animals.

    I know this sounds harsh but if a pet shop could go out of business because of this then you are selling too many animals and not enough pet food etc so sorry but tough.

  2. I turned in a small pet store about 10 years ago. It was over 100 degrees outside and these puppies were sitting outside in a kennel on the concrete with no shelter to get in the shade. I called the Humane Society on them. When I went by there a few days later the dog kennel had not only been moved to a shady area, the dogs also had a new doghouse.

    There’s a woman in the U.S. right now who worked at Wal Mart and was fired when she asked a customer not to leave her dog in a hot car. The woman wasn’t even in her Wal Mart uniform or on the clock yet and they fired her.

  3. It will really improve on the health of animals if people choose to purchase them at a privately owner pet shop. Animals from rescue organizations are in far better health than those raised in puppy mill environments. The recent raid near where I live that I’ve been covering tells of how the owner would sell the puppy mill dogs at flea markets. They make look healthy, but were filled with worms, parasites, etc.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how well they enforce the new ordinance. Police are likely to be too busy to go around to pet shops. Some other government official would likely have to do inspections and check paperwork to see where the animals came from.

    • There is a pet shop within 7 mins walk of where I live. I buy the odd bit of cat food there. Outside on the grass verge is a large mobile sign saying “Kittens for Sale”.

      They also sell hamsters and all kinds of other animals. I like the people but hate what they do.

      They are not bad people. They just don’t see a problem with selling animals bred in some nasty place.

      It must be about education.

  4. On a tour of :Harrods” of London in 2010 had visited the “Pet store” section and saw a few puppies and other small pets kept in glass cages.Once upon a time a person could purchase a lion or tiger at the same “Harrods Store” of London ! Co-incidentally on the same day that i had visited Harrods there was a small demonstration of wild-life activists outside the store on the main street.They were protesting against the farming of animals for fur products and the same being sold at Harrods.The activists had posters of skinned animals to depict the cruelty towards harvesting of animals for fur.Does Harrods still sell fur products ? Is the “Pet section” in Harrods still in business ?Times are changing and most people are understanding the cruelties of puppy and cat mills for profits, whether in the World’s poshest and most famous store or common malls.Its time that breeding of pets is regulated.I myself could have bred my female cat like a “cat Mill” as she is a excellent breeder and yet avoided the same realizing that there is no “Cat Pedigree Club” in India.Selling kittens just as pets is irresponsible breeding unless with proper ‘pedigree Certificates” to enhance the breed. Otherwise its best adopting one of the numerous stray cats and kittens as a house pet.

    • Does Harrods still sell fur products ? Is the “Pet section” in Harrods still in business ?

      I’ll have to go there when I can and find out. It is only a bus ride away (about 45 minutes on a number 22 bus). My guess is that Harrods sells fur products but not pets. I will have to confirm that though. I also believe is some sort of regulation of breeding and indeed pet ownership because people don’t change willingly. They have to be forced to respect animals. Got to teach people through the law.

  5. I have a simple approach. If the supply of dogs and cats is too high – which it has to be because we are told over and over again that there are too many unwanted cats and dogs in the USA – then you have to curtail the supply. That means stopping breeding and in this case the worse kind of breeding – puppy mills etc.. It is therefore a welcome change. That is obvious and people have been calling for this sort of thing for years.

    It is good to see these changes. I just wish it happened in less enlightened states of the USA. California does not represent the mood of the whole of the USA I am told.

    • It may sound mean but I don’t care for the small business owners who make money selling animals that are displayed in cages. I think it’s wrong and will be quite happy when they go out of business. That might seem mean and to be honest it is but on this issue I don’t care. I don’t think it’s ok to run a pet shop and I never will. Let this guy take whoever he wants to court and hopefully waste his money losing. Good for him. He might think he’s an honest poor guy but he’s not – he makes money selling animals and that makes him bad in my book and well deserving of losing his privelidge of taking something off this planet which he has done nothing for. He didn’t make the animals he just takes them and sells them for a profit. He encourages breeders to breed. He is wrong in so many ways and playing the poor me small business card is total righteous bollocks.

      • Agreed. Many people think we have a absolute right to buy and sell animals as products. Many don’t believe it is right. I suspect that the majority of people believe the former. Things are changing slowly. Too slowly.

    • Never been to California. Doubt I’ll ever get there. But I’m told I don’t act like someone from South Carolina either. People think I’m from what they call “up north” because I have opinions usually found by people in the Northeast U.S. Don’t know exactly what they mean by that…

        • It depends on where you are in the south. The larger cities, not so much. But there are small towns in the mountains I’d be afraid to visit because the are very family oriented and if you weren’t born there you could have trouble. I worked a lot in Charlotte, NC and Augusta, Georgia and Greenville, SC and they’re very metro these days. I live in an area now that doesn’t even have a traffic light it’s so small. There’s a catfish festival every year nearby. And a town just down the road has a “honey-sopping” festival. Would you like to come visit me Michael?

          • I would love to do a bit of honey-sopping. My favorite pastime. I am a past champion you know.:)

            Yes, one day I will come and visit. I want to visit VG in Atlanta too. And Ruth in Wisconsin. Hell, that’s a lot travelling.


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