With a small step for a city and a giant leap for shelters and rescue organizations, Los Angeles City has voted to effectively ban the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits. The ordinance, which the City Council passed 13-2, takes aim at puppy mills and benefits the numerous shelters, humane societies and rescue organizations in the Southland. Pet stores in Los Angeles City have a 6 month grace period to begin to comply or will face escalating fines.
Los Angeles is the largest city to pass an ordinance of this kind, joining Hermosa Beach, Irvine, West Hollywood and many other cities across the nation. Toronto, Canada adopted a policy similar to Los Angeles’s earlier this year. The ordinance calls for a review in 3 years to revisit the issue and determine the effectiveness on the overall homeless animal population. While pet stores are limited to selling animals from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue organizations, individuals may still buy directly from breeders.
Los Angeles City hopes that by regulating what animals are sold in pet stores some of the myths about shelter animals will be dispelled. Mainly, that rescued dogs and cats have done something wrong and that is why they are in a shelter. By having pet stores keep homeless animals it will also help to expose the public to shelter animals they might not have otherwise met. Shelters can be difficult to locate or get to, and some people won’t go to a shelter that they know euthanizes; pet stores offer the opportunity to expose loving and wonderful pets to potential forever homes, saving thousands of lives.
DogTrekker applauds Los Angeles City for taking a stand to help the hundreds of thousands of wonderful animals taken in to their shelters each year. We hope more cities follow suit quickly.