Another Step Toward Eliminating Puppy Mills
David and Veronica Salinas, who own San Diego Puppy, are suing San Diego claiming their business was unfairly targeted for closure because only their store and one other was affected by the municipal legislation.
In their complaint, the Salinases argue that animal rights activists including the Animal Protection and Rescue League, the Companion Animal Protection Society, and the San Diego Humane Society turned City Council members against San Diego Puppy. They believe the new ordinance serves to increase the market share for the pet store’s competitors.
Proponents of the ban say the target was puppy mills, period. The Salinases say not all commercial breeders run puppy mills and that activists are engaging in guilt-by-association.
Alex Bell, communications director for Council member Lorie Zapf, notes, “While this originated from a desire to stop the inhumane importation of puppy mill puppies, cats and rabbits, the city’s role in this is really consumer protection for San Diegans. It is aimed at stopping unsuspecting customers from buying animals that are poorly bred, have genetic health problems and behavioral problems.”
The next court hearing is set for February 19 when the Salinas’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the city is considered. Under the law, violating the ordinance is a misdemeanor with a $250 fine for the first offense, $500 for the second, and $1,000 thereafter.
More than 30 American cities have enacted similar laws banning the retail sale of dogs including Los Angeles.