West Hollywood mulls ban on retail pet sales
West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on first reading Feb. 2 that would prohibit the sale of cats and dogs in pet retail stores. If approved following its second reading on Feb. 16, the ordinance would go into effect on March 19.
Exemptions are provided for humanely bred, reared or sheltered animals, according to the city, and existing pet stores will be given time "to adjust" to the new law.
"This ordinance represents an important step toward ridding our nation of the cruelty of puppy mills and other commercial assembly-line animal breeders," said Council member Jeffrey Prang. "The ordinance not only contributes to the fight against animal cruelty it also recognizes the enormous cost of pet overpopulation in our society, both fiscal and humanitarian impacts. I urge those seeking pet companionship to consider adoption from municipal shelters and other nonprofit rescue agencies."
The goal of the ordinance is to take a stand against inhumane conditions suffered by the many animals bred in puppy mills for the retail pet industry, according to a statement on the city’s Web site.
The city of West Hollywood last made headlines in 2003 when it banned cat declawing — a move which spurred a new California law to prohibit cities from interfering in state-licensed professions.
This newest ordinance was backed by the Companion Animal Protection Society, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States, according to West Hollywood.