Pet stores in Los Angeles will soon be required to sell only rescue animals in response to a city ordinance designed to rein in puppy mills.
Councilman Paul Koretz bought himself a Bichon Frise dog. Later, the dog died due to an illness that he believes was caused by the conditions at the puppy mill from which he bought her. (I don’t know what gender the dog was, but something in my brain just refuses to let me believe there’s any such thing as a male Bichon Frise. Leave me alone.)
As a result, Koretz sponsored the motion that would force all pet shops in the Greater Los Angeles Area to sell only rescue dogs. Here’s what Koretz had to say:
Puppy mill dogs are kept in horrible, inhumane conditions. Puppies and kittens, in the case of kitten mills, often end up with severe health problems and sometimes behavioral problems. They also make worse the problem of an overabundance of animals and the euthanasia of hundreds of thousands of animals.
Pet shop owners, of course, are not pleased.
One store owner that says she only buys from respectable local breeders feels the puppy mill ban unfairly punishes shops that take a genuine interest in the welfare of the animals sold.
Others say it would restrict choice — though the ban doesn’t prevent breeders from existing under USDA licensing, or from potential owners to buy direct from those breeders. The idea behind the pet store ban is to eliminate a revenue stream from oversized commercial breeders.
The council vote was 12-2, and because it wasn’t unanimous, it’ll be voted on again before it takes effect, where a simple majority is required. So we’ll be seeing this coming soon.
Reps from the city of Chicago have stated that should the ban take effect in Los Angeles, they too will take up the issue and pass a similar ordinance.
Disclaimer: It’s become next to impossible to find objective statistics on puppy mills. If you’ve got somewhere reputable that’s got some info on this, and it’s not from somewhere like EvilPuppyMills.org, post it in the comments below.
Question: Is this an overstep of government, or a legitimate means through which to curb sales from puppy mils?