Pet ban could extend to backyards

Glendale is poised to enact a far-reaching ban on dog and cat sales that would go beyond retailers and into the backyards of pet breeders.

Other cities, such as Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood, have banned dog and cat sales at pet stores, but Glendale’s ordinance would go one step further by also prohibiting so-called backyard breeders from supplying the retail storefronts.


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story mistated the scope of the ordinance. The ban will not prevent residents from selling dogs or cats privately. The ordinance only affects retail store operations.


The City Council on Tuesday voiced support for the prohibition after roughly 30 people crowded City Hall in support of the ordinance.

“The only way to get rid of puppy mills is to cut off demand,” Glendale resident Tina Clark said.

Most cities that ban dog and cat retail sales make exemptions for backyard breeders, but animal advocates argue that the concession still leaves the door open to stores buying from conditions similar to those found at puppy mills and kitten factories.

City officials said an all-out ban would be more practical since Glendale lacks the resources to check the points of origin for all dogs and cats listed for sale. The City Council, which expressed support for the ban, is scheduled to vote on the ordinance next week.

If approved, it would put Glendale among a tiny set of cities, including South Lake Tahoe, that have enacted bans on retail and backyard sales.

The impact to retail stores will be minimal since those listed in Glendale have already made the transition to adopt-only models. And the ban would not prevent residents from selling puppies or kittens privately, City Atty. Mike Garcia said.

But a spokesman for a pet store industry association said the ban was unnecessarily broad and misguided.

“A ban on the sale of dogs and cats by responsible pet stores does nothing to reduce breeding in substandard conditions, which I believe is what this ordinance and this council is concerned about,” said Marcie Whishard, a spokeswoman for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

According to the proposed ordinance, all pet stores would have one year to get into compliance.

Elizabeth Oreck, a spokeswoman for Sun Valley-based advocacy group Best Friends Animal Society, said her organization was willing to help pet stores in Glendale transition to adoption-only models for dogs and cats.

Rene Karapedian, owner of Pet Rush in Kenneth Village, said he made the transition to a rescue-only business more than a year ago and ithas helped his pet training and grooming business as it appeals to animal activists.

Pet Rush partners with animal rescue groups and the Los Angeles County shelters to bring animals into the store for adoption.

“This is an ordinance that is going to save lives,” Karapedian said. “Our best friend’s lives.”

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