CAPS volunteer Margot Lockridge. Photo courtesy of Companion Animal Protection Society
On Monday evening, West Hollywood, CA came much closer to being the second city in the US to ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops when the city council unanimously approved a proposed ordinance. The first was South Lake Tahoe, CA, in 2009.
The West Hollywood proposed ordinance is the work of the Companion Animal Protection Society, which staged regular protests in front of Elite Animals Pet Store and also conducted an investigation of the puppy mill that the dogs came from. Carole Davis, West Coast Director of CAPS, explained, "Dogs were covered in feces, covered with wounds, and extremely stressed out . . . They try to chew their way out, the poor dogs."
If approved at the second reading, the proposed ordinance will become law, effective March 19, 2010, although pet shops that currently sell cats and dogs will have until September 17, 2010 to comply with the ban. Pet shops would still be allowed to provide space for the adoption of shelter and rescue animals. There is also an exception for the sale of "animals that were bred and reared on the premises of the person or establishment," meaning that small breeders would still be allowed to sell animals, but pet stores could no longer get animals from puppy mills or other off-premises breeders. (02/10/10 Addendum: This language may change in the final version of the ordinance.) The ordinance is expected to be approved, and Davis told me that 17 other cities have already contacted her with interest in passing similar ordinances.
Want more details about how they did it, and how you can get a similar ordinance in your town? I'll publish an exclusive interview with Davis later on this week. Update: Davis' interview is now available here.
Photo courtesy of Companion Animal Protection Society
- What is a Puppy Mill?
- Arguments For and Against Keeping Pets
- Should You Give a Pet as a Gift?
- Companion Animal Protection Society official site
- West Hollywood City Council Press Release
- West Hollywood Proposed Ordinance