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More Beach Towns Eye Pet Sales Bans

Posted: April 16, 2012, 5:45 p.m. EDT


The cities of Laguna Beach, Calif., and Hallandale Beach, Fla., are each considering ordinances to ban the retail sales of dogs and cats.

An ordinance prohibiting commercial establishments in Laguna Beach from selling cats and dogs will be formally introduced on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, with final action on the ordinance expected to take place May 1, 2012. If passed, the ordinance, prepared by city staff at the request of a councilmember, would take effect in 30 days.

The ordinance prohibits the sales of “puppies, dogs, kittens, or cats” by commercial animal establishments and exempts licensed commercial breeders, private owners “occasionally” breeding a litter, the city animal shelter, and licensed non-profit humane society and rescue organizations.

Laguna beach pet sales ban flyer
Hallandale pet sales ban flyer
PIJAC created these flyers in response to proposed pet sales bans in California and Florida. Click on images to enlarge.
The ordinance also establishes a definition for “commercial animal rescue shops” that do not rely on commercial breeders as a source for dogs or cats and that offer dogs and cats for a “non-profit adoption fee.” This definition was included in the ordinance to protect the “rescue efforts” of the one such facility already operating in the city.

Under the ordinance, commercial animal establishments would be allowed to provide space and care for animals owned by an animal control agency or nonprofit rescue group or humane society for the purpose of adopting those animals to the public.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Washington, D.C., has developed a flyer opposing the bill because it limits people’s right and ability to acquire a pet and because it could put legitimate pet stores out of business and open up underground markets.

Meanwhile, the Hallandale Beach City Commission is set to hold its final vote on April 18, 2012, on a proposal to ban pet stores from selling or transferring dogs or cats unless those animals “were bred and reared on the premises.”

The proposal would allow animal shelters and rescues, even if they operate “out of or in connection with a pet store,” to sell dogs and cats.

PIJAC has also prepared a flyer opposing this ordinance, which would go into effect immediately upon adoption.

“Discriminatory bans against the sale of animals by pet stores are poor public policy and are harmful to pets and pet owners,” PIJAC wrote in an alert to the pet industry. “Such bans do not benefit animals or the pet-owning public. In fact, pet bans drive legitimate retailers out of business and create an underground market for illegitimate sellers of pets who need not observe the extensive regulatory requirements to which pet stores are subject.”

These two proposals mirror those taken recently by other cities, including Huntington Beach, Calif., and Brick Township, N.J.

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Reader Comments
As a member of the pet supply retailing industry, it embarrasses me that the organization that represent our industry oppose restrictions on the sale of animals in a commercial retail environment. The tide is turning, and your opposition is more out of touch with reality as each day passes. I look forward to the day when pet stores focus solely on selling products and services for pets that were saved and adopted through partnerships with their local pet supply retailer.
Josh, Tucson, AZ
Posted: 4/20/2012 7:59:13 AM
As the person who spearheaded this ordinance for two years, I am proud to say that last night the commission passed this ban on a 4-1 vote. The Mayor in opposition. Hallandale Beach will no longer sell pets who are not
a. from an on-site breeder
b. animal shelter
c. animal rescue
d. A pet shop that works with either a shelter or rescue
We are proud to join the list of cities who are a part of this movement to save sick puppies and killing shelter animals.
Michele, Hallandale Beach, FL
Posted: 4/19/2012 3:36:30 PM
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