On Tuesday, March 16, 2010, the West Hollywood City Council passed the Ordinance Prohibiting the Sale of Dogs and Cats in Companion Animal Stores. The goal of the new ban is to address the inhumane conditions endured by animals in the puppy mill industry, which relies heavily on sales through retail pet stores for its profits.
The ordinance is the second of its kind nationwide. South Lake Tahoe passed a similar measure last year. The law, which provides exemptions for "humanely bred, reared or sheltered animals," was hailed as a major victory in the battle to prevent the euthanization of unwanted pets. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3 million to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized at the nation's 3,500 shelters each year. More than 35,000 dogs and 67,000 cats were euthanized in Los Angeles city and county shelters last year, according to the Humane Society. Existing pet stores will be provided a grandfathering or amortization period to allow them to adjust to the new ordinance.
West Hollywood has been in the forefront of activism to protect companion animals, having been the first municipality in the United States to ban the declawing of cats. The Companion Animal Protection Society, Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States were instrumental throughout the last year in bringing this issue forward.
For more information, regarding the Ordinance Prohibiting the Sale of Dogs and Cats in Companion Animal Stores please call Michael Haibach, Deputy to West Hollywood Councilmember Jeffrey Prang, at (323) 848-6460.