SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A proposal to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and other commercial establishments in San Diego is scheduled to be considered Tuesday by the City Council.
The proposed amendment to the municipal code would make it "unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer or sell any live dog, cat or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the city of San Diego, unless the dog, cat or rabbit was obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, a humane society or a nonprofit rescue organization."
Pet stores would need to keep certificates that identify the sources of their animals and make them available to animal control officers, law enforcement, code compliance officials or other city employees.
The proposal was given an initial go-ahead in May by the council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.
A report to the committee said dogs, cats and rabbits bred for pet stores are kept in inhumane conditions; are more likely to carry genetic disorders; are poorly socialized; and too many end up being abandoned by owners and going to shelters.
Committee Chairwoman Marti Emerald said the code change would protect both animals and consumers.
The proposed ordinance is supported by the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, Animal Protection and Rescue League, Companion Animal Protection Society and San Diego Animal Defense Team, which regularly stages protests outside pet shops.
Dr. Gary Weitzman, CEO of the Humane Society, recently said the point of the ordinance "is to encourage reputable and responsible breeding" and adoption or sales.
"It will absolutely not affect backyard breeders, or hobby breeders, or responsible, reputable breeders that are actually doing a great job at providing great dogs that often aren't in a shelter or rescue environment," Weitzman said.
The owner of one pet shop, David Salinas of San Diego Puppy said at the committee meeting that his store has been inspected by the Humane Society and county Department of Animal Services.
"Puppy mills do not produce healthy puppies -- we have healthy puppies, I need to declare that, you need to understand that," Salinas told the committee members.
His employees said the store receives repeat customers and referrals, which wouldn't happen if the animals were sick.
Others among the numerous opponents of the proposal contend that shelters primarily offer pit bulls and Chihuahuas, and rescue groups are too restrictive about who can adopt from them.
A dozen cities in California have banned the retail sales of animals, including Chula Vista, according to the report.
Thanksgiving could see record-setting heat in San Diego County, according to forecasters, who also reported the smashing of temperature records across the county on Wednesday.
A charity run, meals for the needy, a long-running music festival and holiday shopping are on tap for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day in San Diego.
Your living room often becomes your work space if you work from home. If you have kids, the house can be even more chaotic. Well now, more women are able to take 10-15 steps out of their home and into their "she shed."
Around 60,000 passengers are expected to pass through San Diego's Lindbergh Field daily during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Thanksgiving meals were provided to the needy around San Diego County Wednesday, one day ahead of the holiday.
A pedestrian was killed Wednesday night in a hit-and-run crash in the Mountain View section of San Diego and police detained the driver, who fled the scene on foot after the vehicle struck a house.
U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft were searching in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for three sailors missing since a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed a day earlier.
A decomposing body found inside a 55-gallon barrel that was floating in the San Diego Bay last month has been identified.
The always-heated topic of whether to begin holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day will be raised again Thursday, as many chain stores will open their doors around San Diego one day before the so-called "Black Friday."