Oceanside, the third-largest city in San Diego County, has rejected a proposal to ban pet stores that sell puppies bred in facilities that activists call “puppy mills.”
At a crowded meeting on Wednesday, September 25, and after more than four hours of emotion-packed testimony, City Council members voted 3-2 to reject the proposal.
Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said the propsed ordinance would help reduce the number of pets treated inhumanely by greedy breeders and would encourage the adoption of more animals from shelters and rescue groups, UT San Diego reports.
Councilmen Jerry Kern, Gary Felien and Jack Feller said they didn’t have enough information about what constituted unethical breeding to move forward with changing the city’s laws.
Wood and Sanchez attempted to persuade their colleagues to support the measure based upon the fact that similar bans have been passed recently by Los Angeles and the city of San Diego. That may not have been their best argument.
“PUPPY-MILL” BANS NOT EASY TO ENFORCE
Los Angeles passed a “puppy-mill” pet shop ban ordinance in June 2013, with a two-year sunset clause, and has thus-far been publicly perplexed by its inability to enforce it against pet store owners who merely continue business as usual.
The Los Angeles "puppy mill" ordinance not only prohibits the sale of commercially bred puppies (and kittens) in pet stores. It simultaneously requires that they only sell shelter or rescued animals.
This creates a zoning issue because keeping adult shelter animals in small-business locations or shopping mall stores, 24/7, results in complex sanitation/sewage issues, noise and public health/safety matters requiring a Conditional Use Permit.
Former Mayor Villaraigosa immediately attempted to create another ordinance to allow "dog kennels" in shopping malls without obtaining the zoning variance and possibly violating the rights of other business owners.
The city of San Diego is receiving much unwanted attention because David Salinas, who owns Oceanside Puppy and also San Diego Puppy, Inc., contends that the ordinance is unconstitutional. He testified at the meeting in Oceanside that the proposed ordinance would put him out of business in that city and cost his employees their jobs.
San Diego County Animal Control, which provides animal services for the city, received complaints from activists that San Diego Puppy was still selling pups in violation of the new law and responded recently to investigate the allegations.
Although Animal Control issued a citation, so far, Mr. Salinas is still in business at San Diego Puppy, Inc. He vows to take his case to state and even federal court if local law enforcement takes action to close down his business.
Source: UT San Diego