Oceanside puts ban on puppy mill dog sales

OCEANSIDE — City Council gave final approval to regulations aimed at eliminating the sale of puppy mill dogs and cats in a 3-2 vote on Wednesday, with Councilmen Jerry Kern and Jack Feller voting no.

“The sale of puppy mill dogs is an atrocious thing,” Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said. “I don’t think it’s good for Oceanside.”

Puppy mill practices of repeated breeding and housing animals in small cages are considered inhumane, and have been shown to lead to more genetic disorders and lack of socialization in offspring.

In turn these practices cause there to be more unwanted pets that the city animal control service must house, and sometimes euthanize.

City Council discussed adopting regulations shortly after Oceanside Puppy pet store opened in 2013. Storeowner David Salinas had a pet shop in San Diego until similar regulations were passed there.

Council took up the discussion again this past December, and moved forward and introduced an ordinance earlier this month.

The city law puts strict guidelines on pet stores. Pet shops may only sell dogs and cats obtained from animal shelters, rescue groups and small-scale hobby breeders.

Animal advocate groups objected to pet shop sales of animals obtained from hobby breeders. Group representatives said it would be difficult to regulate whether breeders sold fewer than 20 dogs or cats a year, and this would reduce the effectiveness of the law.

No speakers objected to the entire regulation. Salinas was not present.

He spoke at the Jan. 7 meeting, when the ordinance was introduced, and said he would pursue legal action against the city if the law passed.

“I’m not going to just lay down and do nothing, it’s not fair to the public,” Salinas said during that meeting. “Absolutely we’re going to stay in operation.”

Mayor Jim Wood, Sanchez and Councilman Chuck Lowery supported the regulations, which will go into effect in 30 days. Sanchez said it is a strong law that would hold up in court.

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