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L.A. Beats NY in Animal Welfare

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

When considering getting a companion pet, please adopt.

When considering getting a companion pet, please adopt.

I was thrilled to read that pretty soon pet stores in Los Angeles will stop selling puppies, kittens, and rabbits.  The L.A. City Council passed an ordinance in November banning the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.

This makes Los Angeles the largest city in the United States to enact legislation to put an end to the flow of animals from pet mills, the large commercial breeding farms that supply pet stores.

In New York, however, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council put a band-aid on the problem by passing Senate Bills 3723 and 3955 and Assembly Bills 5114 and 1205.   What we need is for the Pet Industry to do the right thing, which is stop selling pets in pet stores.

Senate Bill (SB) 3723 and Assembly Bill (AB) 5144 expand the timeframe for consumers, up to six months from the previous 14 days, to return a pet should the pet be diagnosed with a congenital defect adversely affecting the animal. Retailers responsible for selling a pet that becomes ill will be required to refund the purchase price, including taxes and reasonable veterinary fees incurred by the customer.  In addition, this legislation requires that pet dealers disclose the name and addresses of both the pet brokers and breeders, as well as the location of where they receive their dogs.  The current law already includes this information with the sale of cats.

Senate Bill (SB) 3955 and Assembly Bill (AB) 1205 address negligent or abusive pet dealers more stringently than current law and allows for the commissioner to hold a hearing to consider the suspension or revocation of a pet dealer license if the licensee has three consecutive inspections in which the licensee has failed to correct deficiencies of a critical nature.

I dream big; if L.A. can ban the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in its pet stores, so can NY. I realize NYS is much larger than L.A., but just think how wonderful it would be if everyone adopted a pet from a shelter.  The absolute worst place to purchase a pet is at a pet store. The ONLY exceptions are when stores allow rescues to host adoption days in their stores.

Please share this story, and let people know that L.A. is way ahead of us here on the east coast, and that we can all do better by refusing to shop in stores that sell pets.

On A Lighter Note:  I just started writing a pet column for parade.com. Please take a look by clicking here.

10 comments to L.A. Beats NY in Animal Welfare

  • Roger

    So you are saying that if a pet store one or two deficiencies, a hearing will be held? And that it is a three strike law? What if the penalties show that the animals are harmed? Does that mean the pets will just have to suffer? You are right, this law doesn’t go far enough. I think the people backing this bill are working with the pet industry in NYS, and that is why this bill does not go far enough. Congratulations L.A. for doing the right thing.

  • Joseph

    L.A. is smaller than NYS, but that shouldn’t matter. We need to be compassionate and to care for all creatures–and that includes pets. NO ONE should buy a pet at a pet store. I won’t even buy pet supplies in stores that sell puppies or other animals.

  • Josh

    I’m with you on this one. The bottom line is not to shop at any store that sells live animals.

  • I’m not convinced that stopping pet stores will have the intended effect; I’d like to see more data on it.

    The good news about pet stores is that they can be regulated (currently those regulations are very rarely enforced in most jurisdictions, but to do so is at least possible). My fear is that when you ban them you drive ever-more business to the web and to backyard breeders, which are completely unregulated. I look forward to having more hard data to look at but I’m betting this fervor for bans may have some unintended consequences.

  • evagrzelak@verizon.net

    Right on!
    I’m a New Yorker, but I wish we were a more compassionate town.

  • Yes, we’ve been following and promoting this issue, not only in LA, but also in neighboring communities, such as Burbank.

    LA Council Votes to Ban Sales in Pet Stores

    Burbank Adopts Strict Laws For Retail Pet Sales

  • L.A. beats south Florida, too. California is the only state in the union that has a law that anyone who lives in association-run housing may have at least one companion animal. No-pet deed restrictions are a real problem in other parts of the country, especially in Florida (mainly in south Florida and also on the western gulf coast).

    Please sign our petition to allow all responsible pet owners / animal guardians to have pets. Go to http://www.petsincondos.org and click on the link to the petition in the upper left corner.

  • Thanks Maida, I am heading over to sign.–Best, Michele

  • Thanks for sharing this info Steve. –Michele

  • I hear you John, and what goes on at backyard breeders and on the Internet is scary. Still, I would like to see pet stores stick to supplies. I won’t even go into a store where they sell birds or fish.–Michele