Editorial: City has the right stance on pet sales

Under a ban adopted Tuesday by the City Council, cats or dogs sold at Burbank pet stores must be obtained only from animal shelters or rescue organizations.

The city is following a trend that has been growing in recent years across the nation, albeit perhaps too slowly in the eyes of people concerned about animal welfare. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been championing the cause, helping to write legislation in some states and dedicating resources to get the word out to all that commercial breeders do not always care about the animals.

In the Southland, the cities of Los Angeles, Glendale, West Hollywood and Hermosa Beach have taken the same step that Burbank took this week. Momentum for the local effort began last summer, when organizers circulated a petition urging the City Council to pass such an ordinance. When given the opportunity, impassioned speakers have addressed the council members and peppered the Leader's “Mailbag” section with letters to the editor calling for the ban. Their words did not go unheeded and the ordinance gained approval this week.

Inasmuch as Burbank has not been awash in businesses that sell commercially bred cats and dogs (just one, by our count, in recent years), the action was more of a statement of solidarity with animal lovers who want to see a halt to “puppy mills” that churn out dogs for profit, sometimes in ghastly conditions. But we applaud it as a stance well worth taking, for the sake of man's best friend.

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