SAN DIEGO—It was the second and final reading of the Companion Animal Protection Ordinance, which bans the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores in the City of San Diego. Now that the ordinance is finalized, pet stores in the City of San Diego have 30 days from date of passage to cease the sale of animals in their stores.
“The passing of this ordinance is a very important step forward for animals that are sourced from puppy mills and other large-scale, irresponsible, commercial breeding sources,” said Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. “We’ve heard the needs of the community loud and clear. This summer, we’re launching programs to help every animal that comes to our campuses. This means, we’ll manage admissions to help owners who have run out of options and must relinquish their animals, as well as animals from partner organizations, and stray and lost animals in cooperation with the San Diego County Department of Animal Services. We’re here to serve the people and animals of our community, as we work towards saving the life of every adoptable animal in San Diego County.”
Sponsored by Councilmember Lorie Zapf of District Six, the ordinance was created in collaboration with input and support from several animal welfare organizations, including: Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), Animal Defense Team, the Animal Protection and Rescue League and the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition, which includes the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA.
Weitzman added, “The goal of this ordinance is not to target responsible breeders, just commercial breeding operations, i.e. puppy mills, who distribute through pet stores and commercial businesses. Now that the ordinance has passed, we’re meeting with responsible breeding groups and pet store owners in our community to form partnerships, so we can direct adopters to them when looking for a particular breed. We want to support local, responsible breeders who care about thoughtful placement of their animals. Some pet supply stores have already instituted a “humane model” by partnering with local rescue groups and humane societies to encourage adoption of shelter animals. We’re taking this one step further by inviting in pet stores and breeders to work with us to provide humanely raised and cared for animals to the public. In the end, this will benefit both the animals and the community.”