San Diego to pass humane pet store ordinance

San Diego prides itself as one of America's most pet-friendly cities. We're inclined to agree now that San Diego is poised to become the 29th municipality in the nation to ban the sale of commercially-bred dogs, cats and/or rabbits in pet stores.

A coalition of animal welfare groups, including Best Friends, volunteers, concerned citizens, and, of course, the city council, is to thank for the state’s second-largest city taking this very important step. Los Angeles is the only larger city to ban the sale of commercially-bred animals, with their ordinance going into effect last month.

Puppy mill dogs make up one of the streams of animals that contribute to the overcrowding of municipal animal shelters and to shelter deaths. It is estimated that as many as 25% of shelter dogs are pure breeds. Best Friends believes that any comprehensive campaign to end shelter killing must include a strategy for reducing the impact that faceless, abusive puppy mills in rural mid-western states have on shelter populations in cities across the country. Local ordinances restricting such sales have proved to be the most effective approach yet. Elizabeth Oreck, national manager of Best Friends puppy mill initiatives, is a pioneer of this strategy and has helped to draft several successful ordinances, including for the city of Los Angeles, and has consulted on many others. The new ordinances allow for the sale/adoption of shelter and rescue group pets only.

The 33 cities that have taken this action represent tens of thousands of puppies every single year "produced" as a commodity. That means tens of thousands of puppies that will no longer need to be born purely to support this cruel industry. You may remember that we have referred to puppies from mills as the "blood diamonds of animal welfare."

This is definitely yet another big step that will move the needle on killing and cruelty, but there is much more to do.

Together, we can Save Them All.




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Francis Battista