Retail dog, cat, rabbit sales banned in San Diego


Amendment passes unanimously in an effort to thwart 'puppy mill' pet shop suppliers.

The San Diego, Calif., City Council voted unanimously to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores July 9. The bill was proposed by Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to prevent “puppy mills” from supplying to pet stores. The new law should take effect in about 30 days after a second reading by the council.

The amendment to the municipal code makes it “unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer or sell any live dog, cat or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the city of San Diego, unless the dog, cat or rabbit was obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, a humane society or a nonprofit rescue organization.’’

The amendment will require pet stores to keep certificates that name the source of their animal inventory in order to make the information available to animal control officers, law enforcement, code compliance officials or other city employees. Pet stores may still contract with animal shelters, animal control agencies, humane societies or nonprofit organizations to sell dogs, cats and rabbits to consumers.

Several other California cities have adopted a similar ban. San Diego will be the second largest city in the nation with retail ban—Los Angeles is the largest.

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