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West Hollywood expected to ban retail sales of dogs and cats [Updated]

The West Hollywood City Council is expected Tuesday night to approve an ordinance that would prohibit most sales of dogs and cats in pet stores.

The measure, which was unanimously approved at its first reading two weeks ago, is the city's latest piece of animal welfare legislation.

About a decade ago, city leaders rewrote city statutes to replace "pet" with "companion" and "owner" with "guardian." In 2003, West Hollywood became the first city in the country to outlaw cat declawing.

The law being considered now -- called the Ordinance Prohibiting the Sale of Dogs and Cats in Companion Animal Stores -- would not be the nation's first. Last year, South Lake Tahoe adopted an ordinance banning the retail sale of dogs and cats, which, like the West Hollywood law, was aimed at curtailing puppy mills.

If approved, West Hollywood's ordinance would go into effect March 19. No businesses would be immediately affected, said Councilman Jeffrey Prang, because there are no pet stores that sell cats and dogs within city limits. [Updated at 2:14: A previous version of this post said there were no pet stores within city limits.] The ordinance also includes exemptions for humanely bred, reared or sheltered animals.

Prang said it was no coincidence that West Hollywood, a national hub of progressive politics, would approve such an ordinance.

"People who have compassion for human rights tend to have a similar compassion to all living creatures," Prang said.

Besides, he said, "We have many, many pet guardians in our city."

-- Kate Linthicum

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Comments () | Archives (39)

YEAH....what next? What OTHER rights is the government going to take from us? Are you people really THIS dumb out here in Los Angeles???

I moved here three years ago now and I can's quite put my thumb on what is wrong with you people.

OH WAIT~ I know what it is !!!

Its that Nuclear Reactor that blew up and released radiation back in the 1950's. Bunch of LEMMINGS you are!

hahaha, I can't believe it. more laws by and for people who have way to much money and time on their hands

hahaha, I can't believe it. more laws by and for people who have way to much money and time on their hands

@Paul: Pet stores don't sell puppies that their own dogs have whelped. They ship their puppies in from breeders, typically puppy mills (responsible breeders don't sell their puppies to pet stores). You should do you research before you make a statement like that. And the ban on the retail sale of dogs and cats would not include private breeders.

This is wonderful. West Hollywood is setting a great example.

I'm confused on where activists think this is really going to hurt puppy mills and not just the petshops or "companion shops" themselves. Being a person who worked in a small pet store before and not a big unpersonal corporate one. Business was built on the customer relationship when selling the animal to the new owner. You made your money on the food and toys after the original pet sale. You lose that relationship if you cut out the sell of the dog or cat and in turn kill small pet store business in the process.

Now I know the article says pet stores can still sell pets from good breeders, however, now the pet store will have to prove they are buying from a good breeder. How do they do that? Does the state come in and certify the breeder? Do the tax payers pay for that or does the breeder?

So the puppy mills lose the avenue of petstores... Who cares... They'll just start selling their animals elsewhere. For instance magazines, classified ads, the internet, etc...

Why not go after the puppy mills themselves and stop adding another nail in the coffin to small business owners? If you want to stop the millions of animals from dying in shelters, have PETA chip in some of the free money they use on all the pets or "companion animals" they euthanize annually and use it to support spaying and neutering.

What is wrong with West Hollywood? Take away more of our rights? Focus on passing equal marriage and really be progressive. The city is too high on itself to get anything real done. Just pass more laws simply just for show.

Progressive? HA

GET REAL West Hollywood!

Some of these comments are false. Responsible breeder DO NOT sell to pet stores. A responsible breeder will want to meet the buyer and know where their puppies are going and will be living.

I don't know why some of you are trying to protect pet stores. The puppies they sell are usually extremely overpriced.

Even if you buy the year old dog who has lived at the pet store most of his life and is on sale for $400, you'll probably have high vet bills for the rest of his life because of his poor breeding.

I'm all for less gov't and enforcing the laws we already had but IMHO good job W. Hollywood! The fewer strays and sick animals out there we have the better. The more puppy mills put out of business the better!

'there are no pet stores that sell cats and dogs within city limits" - so WeHo residents go elsewhere to buy retail pets, and will continue to do so - this moronic law is just a waste of the paper it's printed on. WHO ON EARTH COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF??? HAVE WE BECOME A SOCIETY OF IMBECILES?????

Pet stores who sell puppy mill animals are simply profiting from misery.

There are hundreds of great dogs at animal shelters for alot less money.

After you get your shelter puppy then you can go back to the pet store to buy your pet supplies.

When dogs are outlawed, only outlaws will have dogs.

Will SKUBI: I'm wondering what questions animal shelter staff asked you that you felt were too intrusive. When I adopted my two pets from an animal shelter in Irvine about 8 yrs ago, I had to provide verification from my landlord that pets were permitted at my residence, affirm that I had the desire and means to care for them, and agree to things like not leaving them outside unattended. It was all reasonable. If you unfortunately met a staff member or volunteer who was rude, please speak to a manager. But do give shelters another chance. They do excellent work on behalf of animals, for little reward.

Pet stores have no idea where dogs and cats come from except by what they're told from the individuals doing the selling. If a man is supplying a small, privately owned pet store with dogs he's bred himself, he can still be breeding them inhumanely. Even "licensed breeders" often treat their prize-winning females like a piece of manufacturing equipment. I work at a pet store myself and have heard time and time again from customers, "I rescued this dog from a breeder who dumped her off at the vet to be euthanized because she was no longer bearing puppies."

Anyone who breeds dogs for profit is just as much of a wretch as those responsible for genuine puppy mills.

While I agree with most of Steve's post, he writes "More important ... a change in the mindset of people wanting "special" breeds created and maintained for looks, even if this continues generations of genetic problems in the animals. " His heart is in the right place, but I think he has it backwards (fortunately). Its the purebreds that tend to have the genetic issues because of inbreeding. The mixed breeds that you find at shelters and rescues tend to not have many of those problems and they're just as cute.

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