CARLSBAD — Once again, the call to ban retail pet stores that sell dogs from so-called puppy mills came to City Hall.
Dozens of residents and advocates for animal rights filled the chambers Tuesday to urge the City Council to adopt an ordinance banning such enterprises.
Former San Diego County District 3 Supervisor Pam Slater-Price spoke to the council during public comment to urge the leaders to outlaw the practice. The council took no action, as the issue was not on the agenda as required by state law.
Nevertheless, Slater-Price and others were passionate in the request for the council to develop and implement a ban.
As she spoke, those in attendance raised signs in unity reading, “This voter supports a ban.”
“Puppy mills are not just a humane issue, but also a consumer fraud problem,” she added. “A puppy mill is like a dog factory. They are just there to be baby machines. They don’t care if the puppies are healthy.”
Slater-Price also railed against the transportation of puppies, saying those who operate the mills have no regard for the animals’ well being in severe cold or heat.
“They do not make sure the dogs they get are healthy,” she continued. “The only thing they care about is taking your money. Puppies being raised in mills are currently being sold here in Carlsbad.”
Elizabeth Oreck, national manager for puppy mills initiatives for the Best Friends Animal Society, also urged the city to join the likes of San Diego, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista and San Marcos in banning retail pet stores who purchase dogs from mills.
“Responsible breeders don’t sell to pet stores,” Oreck said. “Federal care standards do not ensure quality breeding or a humane life for animals.”
Carlsbad implemented an emergency ordinance banning the retail sale of dogs and cats in 2013, but repealed the ban less than a month later in a 3-2 vote.
Councilman Keith Blackburn, who has donated money to a local animal shelter and was on the losing end of the vote in 2013, requested the item be placed on a future agenda.
The item is expected to be heard by the council within the next 30 days.
The 2013 ordinance would have banned the retail sale of cats and dogs, prohibited other pet stores from opening in Carlsbad, and prevented California Pets, a pet store in the Carlsbad mall, from expanding or relocating within the city.
The ban would have encouraged pet seekers to consider adopting animals from local shelters.
Recent reports have targeted California Pets, which changed its name to Carlsbad Pets, as a retailer engaging in the practice of selling dogs and cats from mills. The store was also in the center of the debate in 2013.
“Unfortunately, mass retailers are the only ones who benefit from mass produced animals,” Slater-Price said.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.