Editor’s Note: “The restrictions will be reviewed after three years, officials said, to determine if they are working and should be extended.”
Sources: KTLA.com, L.A. Times, yesbiscuit.com
Animal rights activists are applauding a controversial Los Angeles City Council vote to require all pet stores to sell only rescued animals. Individuals still will be allowed to buy directly from breeders, but pet stores will be limited to selling animals obtained from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue groups. Stores violating the restrictions could face misdemeanor charges and a penalty of $250, which would increase with repeat offenses.
ARAs pushed for the ban, which has already been adopted in smaller cities such as Irvine, Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood. The move comes in response to pet overpopulation in LA and the rate of euthanasia in city-operated shelters.
Four million cats and dogs are put down each year according to the Humane Society. California municipal shelters take in about a million dogs and cats a year and kill about half of them, Elizabeth Oreck, of Best Friends Animal Society, told KTLA.
That’s 1 every 8 seconds.
The city council voted 12-2 in favor of a law that would require pet stores to sell only rescued animals. In addition to reducing euthanizations, the law seeks to put an end to puppy and kitten mills that keep animals in poor conditions and then ship them to pet stores- and prevent tens of thousands of animals from being euthanized in city shelters each year.
Pet shop owners complained that the restrictions were unfair and unnecessary. “This country is founded on choice,” Evelyn Mazor of “Puppy and Me” said to KTLA. “And people should have a choice. If they want to go to a shelter, they have every right to do that. But if they want to come to a store to buy a pure-bred and healthy puppy, they have the option to do that as well.”
“It’s just making us suffer,” Olympic Pet Shop owner Candice Ro told the Los Angeles Times. For 11 years, her family has been selling Yorkshire terriers, English bulldogs and other puppies in Koreatown, mostly acquired from local breeders who take good care of their animals, she said.
Councilman Paul Koretz, a longtime supporter of animal rights, championed the ban and said lawmakers have a duty to stick up for animals who “cannot speak for themselves.”