Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Council takes action on retail sale of dogs  

December 10, 2008 Tahoe Daily Tribune - Adam Jensen

Banning the sale of dogs in South Lake Tahoe moved one step closer to becoming a reality. City council unanimously voted Tuesday for staff to develop an ordinance banning the retail sale of dogs to prevent the sale of puppy mill-bred dogs in the city.

In addition, the city intends to include a ban on cat sales in the draft ordinance, said City Manager David Jinkens.

Council thought a complete ban is the best of three options Los Angeles-based lawyers Laurence Wiener and Serita Holness developed for the city.In addition to the complete ban, the alternatives included collecting a licensing fee from pet stores to pay for independent inspections of a puppy’s breeding facility or requiring independent veterinarian exams of puppies upon arrival at a pet store.

Inspecting breeding facilities would be difficult if not impossible, said Councilman Hal Cole.The complete ban represents the “easiest and most direct” way to prevent the sale of puppy mill-bred dogs, Cole added.The possible ban should not prevent private breeders from operating in the city, Jinkens said.

Councilman Bruce Grego asked what would happen to the one store in South Lake Tahoe that sells puppies, Broc’s Puppies, if council were to approve such a ban. City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo said Grego’s concern is one that the ordinance needs to address.

A phasing-out schedule for existing stores should be included in the ordinance, DiCamillo said.

Some South Shore animal advocates have claimed that Broc’s is selling puppy mill-bred dogs, but operators of the store have denied the allegations. A representative of Broc’s filled out a card to speak at Tuesday’s meeting, but was not at the meeting when the council reached the puppy mill item in the afternoon. A draft ordinance is expected to come before council for a vote in January.

Carmina wrote: This is great news and hopefully other cities will follow suit. Pet stores don't care where their animals come from and are only in the business of turning profits, regardless of the horrendous suffering of the dogs, cats, rabbits, and other creatures exploited for this vile industry. Don't support the cruelty; save a life and adopt from a rescue group or humane society.

West Hollywood votes yes on pet shop ban


1/16/2009 Tahoe Daily Tribune


Landmark legislation was passed on February 1st, 2010, as the West Hollywood City Council unanimously voted to stop the retail sale of cats and dogs at pet stores.  Only pet shops that “re-home” rescued or shelter animals will be allowed to stay in business.


The new ordinance will make the city off-limits to animals bred at puppy mills and commercial cat breeding facilities.  Only a small number of cities in the country have stepped up to the plate with legislation like this.  The West Hollywood law is similar to one adopted in South Lake Tahoe, CA in 2009, which only allows for the sale of “humanely bred, reared or sheltered animals.”


This isn’t the first time West Hollywood has taken the initiative to be a leader in the name animals.  Earlier this year the city voted to ban the de-clawing of cats. 

Related news

October 13, 2010 Pet Industry - A Change is Coming  

B.C.’s City of  Richmond tentatively adopted the bylaw which would ban pet stores in the municipality from selling puppies. The issue, supported unanimously by council, must go through a public consultation process before it can be adopted as a bylaw. If approved, it will come into effect, April 30, 2011.

PIJAC’s (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Committee) executive director, Louis McCann insists banning pet stores from selling dogs won't stop puppy mills from operating. Instead, he suggests provinces need to enact legislation that would regulate breeding operations. He added only Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec currently have legislation to regulate breeding. While the BC SPCA, animal activists, municipal officials, and citizens alike, all agree that there needs to be legislation to regulate breeding, stopping sales at the pet store level is a good first step. Pet stores are far from transparent in their activities, and leave both animals and the consumer unprotected. PIJAC has done an abysmal job in regulating itself. Kristen Bryson, BC SPCA board member, and criminal prosecutor, says the council is “motivated by money.”  She noted one of the largest retailers (Pet Habitat) of dogs in the Lower Mainland gets their puppies from a broker (the Hunte Corp. in the States) that sources puppies from "puppy mills and other unmonitored breeding facilities." There are thousands of these hellish operations in Canada and the US, all motivated by profits.  

A full or partial ban on the sale of live animals in pet stores exist in Hermosa Beach, South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood, California; Austin, Texas; and Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, Lauderdale Lakes, Flagler Beach, North Bay Village and Opa-Locka, Florida.

Meanwhile, similar bylaws are currently being considered in San Francisco and Glendale, California; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Wentzville, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; and Jacksonville, Hallandale Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida.

In addition, Albuquerque, New Mexico imposed a ban on the retail sale of all companion animals back in 2006. According to media reports of 2010, animal adoptions have increased 23 percent and ‘euthanasia’ at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent since then. - Carmina Gooch

December 16, 2010  Great news from Texas - Austin City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban the retail sale of puppies and kittens while placing new requirements on local breeders.

Anyone selling a puppy or kitten will have to have the proper registration documents and also spay or neuter the animal before selling. Breeders can sell dog and cats that are not spayed or neutered only if they pay a $50 fee per animal. The new ordinance will be enforced on a complaint basis.

February 22, 2011 Lake Worth, Florida, has become one of a growing number of US and Canadian cities to ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores. It requires pet stores to post the location of the breeder for each puppy or kitten offered for sale, post signs promoting pet sterilization, and submit monthly reports listing the buyers of each animal sold. This step helps  prevent  the flow of animals raised in mills or by backyard breeders from entering retail outlets. However, it doesn’t stop the online trade currently experiencing exponential growth.

L.A. to ban the sale of "mill-bred" pets 

June 10, 2011 DVM Newsmagazine 

Los Angeles — Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in favor of banning the sale of pets bred in “puppy mills” or “kitten mills” June 8.

The motion, which had been introduced May 6 by City Council member Paul Koretz, directs the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, the city attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department to work together on presenting the Department of Animal Services with recommendations for new policies on animas bred on “factory farms.”

The policies should include a ban on the sales of “commercial animal mill-bred dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits within city limits,” and the prohibition of any mill-type operations within Los Angeles. Additionally, a program should be created so Los Angeles Animal Service can work with licensed pet stores to make shelter animals available for adoption on occasion, and another where pet stores exhibiting rigorous humane standards are visibly identified.

In the legislation, Koretz writes that an L.A. Animal Services survey in 2010 found that many of the 100 retail stores identified to be selling live animals obtained them from puppy and kitten mills. 

Comment: The California Penal Code lists dozens of laws designed to penalize people for abusing animals, including laws that could relate specifically to breeders. Penal Code 597t makes it a crime to confine an animal in an area that does not provide it with adequate exercise or restricting an animal with a leash that allows the animal to become entangled. Code 597z makes selling dogs younger than 8 weeks of age a crime.

April 17, 2012 Update: L.A. to Ban Sale of Animals in Stores

June 9, 2011 San Francisco’s Commission of Animal Control & Welfare is once again scheduled to hear a proposal to ban the sale of pets at city pet stores after months of postponing a vote on the controversial issue. PIJAC has spoken out against a ban. The revised proposal comes after a year of study and was expanded to include breeders as well as pet stores to help protect pets, consumers and the environment.  It seeks to prohibit the retail sale of dogs, cats, birds, small animals (including but not limited to hamsters, gerbils, rats, miceguinea pigs and chinchillas), reptilesamphibians and aquarium fish.

"Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred" under inhumane conditions "or taken from the wild," commission member Philip Gerrie told the San Francisco Chronicle. That leads to "devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia.”

Specifically, the ordinance would state that, in San Francisco, people can acquire pets of all species through the following methods: 1.) Pet store adoptions events; 2.) Pet store permanent adoption centers/partnerships; 3.) Direct sale from small breeders; 4.) Adoption from shelters such as Animal Care and Control and the SF/SPCA; 5.) Adoption from animal rescue organizations. Methods that fall outside of those listed above, such as non-adoption sales through pet stores, would not be permitted.

August 17, 2011 Last night, the Glendale City Council, California, voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance to ban the retail sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores within the city limits.

The ordinance, which was revised to exclude a section that would have permitted backyard commercial breeding, will be presented to the Council for an official vote on Aug. 23. If the ordinance is adopted, it will go into effect 30 days later. Glendale is the third Los Angeles-area city to enforce this type of ordinance, joining West Hollywood and Hermosa Beach, as well as larger cities including Albuquerque, NM and Austin, Texas.

In related news, The Irvine Company, owner of Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, the Irvine Spectrum and several other shopping malls and plazas, will ban the sale of dogs and cats at any of its retail properties. The decision was made last month. Irvine is considering banning the sale of dogs and cats by city ordinance. Excellent!

July 9, 2013 San Diego Council Makes Tentative Vote To Ban Retail Pet Shops

September 10, 2013 USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills

March 6, 2014 Chicago Council Approves Ban of Animal Mill Sales at Pet Stores; more cities follow, San Francisco in 2017

November 26, 2014 New York City may ban the sale of pet rabbits; update: victory!

Jurisdictions with Retail Pet Sale Bans    State Pet Shop Laws    Ordinances in the US that protect rabbits

More: Live animal markets; Santee Alley Bunnies

Read more: Free pet rabbits offered on Craigslist; cracking down on breeder ads online; Kijiji's position

BC municipalities starting to prohibit rabbit sales in pet stores; UBCM resolution passes; letters; Vancouver 2017