Supporters of the ban made a presentation to the council about the alleged illegal treatment of animals in mass breeding company facilities or 'puppy mills.'

Supporters of the ban made a presentation to the council about the alleged illegal treatment of animals in mass breeding company facilities or ‘puppy mills.’

by Katerina Lorenzatos Makris ~

One more American town will probably soon join the ranks of several dozen others that have enacted bans on pet stores selling dogs and cats from so-called “puppy mills.” Last night the council members of Oceanside, California voted to instruct the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would prohibit the sales of dogs and cats from large commercial breeding companies.

A group of about 50 supporters cheered and applauded as the council members’ votes came in with three in favor, one opposed, and one abstention.

“We’re very happy,” said local animal advocate Leslie Davies after the vote. Davies spearheaded the campaign to pass the ordinance, leading frequent protests outside Oceanside Puppy, a store she alleges sells animals from unscrupulous mass breeders who routinely violate welfare laws. “I think it’s monumental. It says a lot. The council is listening to people who live in this city, and the people who live here do not want a store that sells cruelty. They don’t want stores that sell puppy mill dogs that are shipped in from out of state on big, huge semi trucks.”

Council member Jerry Kern told Animal Issues Reporter that he opposed the move because “it’s a retail store. They’re regulated by the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture]. I think by rights they should be able to sell their products. I don’t think the pet store is the problem. I think what the problem is is the backyard breeders. Those are the people who don’t care what happens. It’s the people breeding in the backyard. And you drive by and they say, “Here, free puppies.” That’s the problem. It’s not the regulated retail stores.”

A final vote on the proposed ordinance is expected on January 7, 2015.

Please return to AIR soon for an upcoming, more detailed article on the Oceanside measure.

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Katerina Lorenzatos Makris is a career journalist, author, and editor. Credits include hundreds of articles for regional wire services and for  outlets such as National Geographic TravelerThe San Francisco ChronicleTravelers’ Tales, NBC’s, and (Animal Policy Examiner), a teleplay for CBS-TV, a short story for The Bark magazine, and 17 novels for Avon, E.P. Dutton, Simon and Schuster, and other major publishers.

Together with coauthor Shelley Frost, Katerina wrote a step-by-step guide for hands-on, in-the-trenches dog rescue, Your Adopted Dog: Everything You Need to Know About Rescuing and Caring for a Best Friend in Need (The Lyons Press).

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