San Diego Pet Store Ban: Dogs, Cats, Rabbits Sales Illegal In 30 Days

COMMENTARY — A San Diego pet store ban is making waves after the San Diego City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits, effective in 30 days.

KPBS reported that the San Diego pet store ban will represent an amendment to the city code that makes it illegal “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.”

Los Angeles already has such a ban, which means that San Diego will become the second largest city in California to ban the legal sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits.

According to NBC San Diego, the bill was introduced by Council Member Lori Zapf and written in partnership with the same animal welfare groups that will now control the sale of live dogs, cats, and rabbits in San Diego.

Does nobody in California see a problem with this?

And did they really mean to also make it illegal to give away an animal?

KPBS said that the largest pet store affected is owned by David Salinas of San Diego Puppy. I know nothing about Salinas, but he has spoken out in multiple media sources and is understandably upset about legislation that seems at least somewhat targeted to put him out of business.

He’s widely quoted as saying: “This has got to stop. This movement of accusing every single breeder having pet store [sales] as puppy mills is absolutely ridiculous.”

I tend to agree. Zapf said that she loves animals and wants to see them treated well.

However, I believe that her actions say something else. The wording in the ordinance quoted by KPBS doesn’t say that breeders should be licensed and inspected to be allowed to raise, breed, and sell animals.

It said that the whole activity is illegal, not just factory breeding.

How do you assume that someone who loves animals enough to spend their time and life energy breeding them is always a bad guy who should be put out of business?

I have an idea. Shut down the puppy mills, and let the responsible breeders continue under proper regulation. If you’re worried about cage-breeding, inspect regularly to make sure it doesn’t happen. Problem solved.

But I’m not from California. Maybe there’s some deeper issue here that has resulted in these bans.

I appreciate comments from all sides. What are your thoughts on the San Diego pet store ban?

[puppy photo by photo credit: emarquetti via photopin cc]