Pet Shop Sales Banned!

by Mary Haight on February 16, 2010

pet shop
Image by martin cleary via Flickr

Update: 2/17  It’s official, the ban on pet shop sales passed!  While no surprise, the work in bringing this legislation to fruition can now be passed along as a model to other cities and townships, who have been calling from across the US and even from Europe for this “blueprint.”

Carole Davis, West Coast director of the Companion Animal Protection Society, one of the main proponents of this ordinance, will be taking this campaign to LA.

Today is the day West Hollywood makes a decision on their ordinance to ban pet shop sales of pets.  In just a few hours we’ll know if this ban will become law.  While the law would take effect March 19 if passed, shops will be given until September 2011 to meet the new legal requirements, winding down their contractual arrangements with the commercial factory farms that churn out puppies like so many parts on an assembly line.  South Lake, Tahoe adopted a similar law last year, according to the Humane Society of the United States. 

Speaking of HSUS, 38 pet shops in California have taken their pledge to stop selling puppies and kittens, instead working with rescues, shelters, and good family breeders. (By the way, good breeders don’t sell on the internet, so don’t be fooled.)  The Mercury News reports that 500 pet shops nationwide have taken the pledge to stop selling pets. It’s a good start.  Now people need to simply stop buying from pet shops.

As I’ve said in other blogs, when you buy from a pet shop you’re part of the problem.  Even more so if you think you are saving an animal. It’s a harsh truth that you’re simply creating an order for a replacement animal.  If you look at this a little closer, there’s another repercussion.  Check your local animal control numbers euthanized against pet shop sales.

In LA the kill count was close to 100,000 last year.  Buying a pet in a pet shop while approximately 8000 dogs and cats are put down each month sounds irrational when it’s put that way, doesn’t it?  And our tax dollars are paying for it, so what is the thinking behind the action here?  Out of 8000 animals a month, I bet there’s at least one that would work out very well for anyone.  We can’t keep pretending that there’s no relationship between numbers killed and numbers bought at a pet shop. 

As the first city in the country to ban declawing of cats in 2003, West Hollywood has the reputation of being in the vanguard of changing animals lives for the better. And they are helping the rest of us find a way out of the sticky and unexpected opposition that instituting animal welfare laws presents.  They are the Pied Piper for humane communities.

Pets in West Hollywood are companions and owners are guardians. They must have solved all the legalities involved with changing the status of animals from pets, or owned property, to a companion/guardian relationship, a completely different model not based on ownership. Do you have any information on this point? Please share!

The really smart thing here may be that the AKC lobbyists can’t shut down local ordinances the way they gut State legislative attempts at recitifying the puppy mill problem.  Another useful tactic, maybe a game-changer, and illustrative of  that maxim that all politics is local.

What’s your take on this? How do you think this would affect animal welfare in your town, and are there already pet shops changing their business models, or does Petland litter your area?

(Source: Silicon Valley Mercury News)

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dogspelledfwd: Legislating Ban on Pet Shops Selling Pets | Dancing Dog Blog http://bit.ly/avbuau

  2. […] great news on the puppy mill front from Dancing Dog Blog. West Hollywood has banned sales of puppies and kittens! Can I get a […]

  3. […] reported by DancingDogBlog, the city of West Hollywood passed an ordinance that will ban the pet shop sale of pets. This is a wonderful step toward reducing puppy mills and cat farms. The ordinance has captured the […]

  4. […] through some pet shops, puppy mills posts, I noticed one from 2010 that mentioned 500 pet shops had pledged to not sell pets. A new report from HSUS states that more than 2000 pet stores have now signed the pledge – a […]

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