Los Angeles may ban the sale of all dogs, cats and rabbits in pet shops and require that they be sourced from shelters and humane societies instead. A committee of the L.A. City Council has approved the proposal which must now go to the full council for approval. If passed, selling any cat, dog or rabbit that was bred commercially could be subject to a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Here are more details as reported in the Los Angeles Times:
Pet advocates said the law was needed to prevent pet store suppliers from mistreating animals, and to reduce animal shelter crowding. Tens of thousands of cats and dogs have to be euthanized each year, according to city officials.
“If passed, this will spare countless animals from needless suffering,” said Matt Bruce, a spokesman for the Los Angeles chapter of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “Every time a pet is bought from a store, a pet in a shelter loses that opportunity for a home.”
Critics of the ban said that pet buyers seeking pure-bred pets would simply start buying them online and from local breeders.
Councilman Richard Alarcon supported the ban, but warned it might help numerous illegal breeders in his district.
“It’s nice to pontificate on the attributes of a concept, but I don’t see any way to enforce it,” Alarcon said.
Councilman Paul Koretz said one ordinance won’t solve the problem. “We have to do this one piece at a time,” Koretz said.
Eleven pet stores in the city that primarily sell cats and dogs would be affected, said Brenda Barnette, general manager of the city’s animal services department. The stores would have to show proof that the animals were obtained from city-approved shelters and animal protection societies or risk losing their operating permits.
You can read the full story online by clicking this link.
If this bill passes, the Los Angeles policy of supporting animal shelters will serve as a model for other cities across North America to follow. So far a few cities have passed laws banning the sale of rabbits in commercial pet shops, while others require that only spayed or neutered rabbits be sold. The L.A. proposal is much more far-reaching, affecting dogs and cats as well as rabbits.
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