NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — National City’s City Council on Tuesday voted to put ban of retail pet stores to the voters in 2020, after a referendum banning the sale of pets at pet stores gathered thousands of signatures.

At Tuesday’s hearing the council had two options: to repeal the ban of pet sales at pet stores, or to put the referendum on the 2020 ballot for voters to decide.

Those who are against the ban said they would have liked to have seen the City County fold. They have fought back in the court of public opinion and in court over the idea that the puppies the stores sell are from puppy mills. The group said, “we are against puppy mills, we believe in providing safe and healthy animals to the community.”

RELATED: Voters may decide pet sale ban in National City

One of the reasons there has been a vocal movement against the ban is because unlike other cities that restrict sales, National City bans the sale of dogs, cats, and other animals completely.

Supporters of the ban believe these dogs and other animals are the products of puppy mills. Karen Clayton said she questions the validity and ethics of the tactics used to achieve as many signatures as they did. 

She went on to say, “they gathered those signatures fraudulently – there is something really fishy going on here.”

The National City city council say the signatures have been validated despite the concerns they were gathered illegally.