17,000 animals in Los Angeles lose their lives every year due to shelter overcrowding. The Los Angeles city council is acting to prevent the needless death of healthy pets by proposing an ordinance that would require every dog, cat or rabbit sold for profit to be obtained from a shelter or humane society. If passed, the ordinance would prevent the sale of commercially bred cats, dogs and rabbits. Violators face fines of $250-$1000 per sale.
This effectively eliminates the supply of pets from so-called puppy mills or breeders who breed pets to produce large numbers of animals for profit. The irresponsible breeding of animals to supply consumer interests and trends has directly contributed to the pet overpopulation epidemic and the increase in genetic diseases.
However, the ban is only effective in LA and pet buyers can still purchase from puppy mills on-line and from non-LA county breeders. According to Brenda Barnette, general manager of the city’s animal services department, eleven pet stores in the city will be affected. Although eleven is a fairly small number, every pet sold from these stores will cost a shelter pet a potential home and a price ultimately paid for with their life.
City councilman, Paul Koretz proposed the ban as a step towards LA being a no-kill city. LA would join a growing number of cities across the nation including Albuquerque, Arizona and Brick New Jersey that ban the sale of commercially bred pets. Several Californian cities such as Chula Vista, Glendale, Hermosa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood have banned the sale of commercially raised pets from pet stores. However, the size and cultural variation of LA would raise a significant amount of publicity for the issue of commercial pet sales.
The three-year ban on the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pets is to be considered this month.