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San Diego could ban retail dog and cat sales

SAN DIEGO -- The sale of cats, dogs and rabbits at retail stores would be banned in the city of San Diego under an ordinance that has been forwarded to the City Council.

If passed, San Diego would be the 32nd city in North America to ban such sales in response to criticism of how animals are treated in commercial dog-breeding facilities — also referred to as puppy mills — that supply many pet stores. Similar ordinances have been adopted in Los Angeles and Chula Vista.

A council committee voted unanimously Wednesday to advance the ordinance after a heated hearing. Animal rights advocates supported the proposal, decrying what they called the inhumane treatment of pets by puppy mills. Pet shop owners and workers defended how they treat animals and at least one said the ban was being pushed by “far-left crazies.”

Elizabeth Oreck, who runs the national puppy mill initiative campaign for Best Friends Animal Society, said that the operations are in business to supply pet stores, so while not every community has a puppy mill every community has a pet store that carries the byproduct of them.

“We do not want to want to see pet stores close,” she said. “We just want to see those stores stop supporting the cruelty of puppy mills by importing these poorly and inhumanely bred animals into the community where they frequently become ill and thus become everyone’s problem when they’re surrendered to our overcrowded, taxpayer-subsidized shelters.”

Read the full story in UT San Diego HERE.