Glendale's ban on the retail sale of cats and dogs is set to become effective in September, but before then, officials plan to do extensive outreach with affected stores, according to a City Hall presentation made Tuesday night.
The City Council passed the ban in August, on the heels of other cities such as West Hollywood and Hermosa Beach, to curb the demand for puppy mills in Glendale.
Of the 18 pet stores in Glendale, three have a recent history of selling cats and dogs. Now, one plans to get out of the trade altogether and another has begun partnering with animal shelters to coordinate adoptions, said Sam Engel, Neighborhood Services administrator.
Council members applauded the ban and planned enforcement program, nicknamed "PAW," or Protecting Animal Welfare.
Animal advocates say puppy mills are cruel to dogs kept in confined quarters with little human interaction. Glendale's ban was in response to a community effort, Engel said.
City officials plan to send a letter to the 18 pet stores this month explaining the ban before inspecting the shops.
About two weeks after sending the letters, city inspectors plan to visit pet stores to explain the new regulations. Stores that voluntarily agree to not sell cats and dogs will get a special certificate. Those that continue to sell cats and dogs will get a notice to cease, Engel said.
Inspectors will then return a few days later to check if the store has stopped selling cats and dogs. If not, the violation will be referred to the city attorney.
Monitoring inspections will be scheduled at each store throughout the year, and staff plans to respond to citizen complaints. But response times may be affected by a 50% reduction in Neighborhood Services staff over the past year, according to a city report.
The city plans to also provide handouts about puppy mills at retail stores, the Glendale Humane Society and the Pasadena Humane Society to increase awareness about the issue.
If a new pet store wants to settle in Glendale, officials will inform the owner about the ban, Engel said.
The ban does not extend to home-based breeders who sell cats and dogs.