The San Diego City Council voted unanimously to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and other commercial establishment throughout the city. The ban, which is already in place in Los Angeles, goes into effect in 30 days.
The amendment to the municipal code makes it “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.”
San Diego pet stores will now need to keep certificates that identify the sources of their animals and make them available to animal control officers, law enforcement, code compliance officials or other city employees.
The amendment was introduced by Councilwoman Lorie Zapf. She said the condition of pets bred in so-called "puppy mills'' is a "passionate'' issue.
"I really love animals,'' Zapf said."I just want to ensure that they're treated well, and humanely.''
David Salinas, who owns San Diego Puppy, told reporters he would go to court or state legislators for relief if the city ordinance was adopted. He noted that his stores have remained in business because he sells quality animals and has numerous repeat customers.
“Anybody that will tell you that I don't care about puppies, or where they come from, and it's strictly about money, is completely false,” Salinas said.
Supporters of the ban, which already exists in Los Angeles, said it's less about Salinas’ store and more about preventing an influx of animals from unregulated puppy mills that are outside California.