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New council majority takes action to ban puppy mill dog sales

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside City Council took the first step to ban puppy mill dog and cat sales in 3-1-1 vote, which gave direction to draft an ordinance at the Dec 3 meeting.

New regulations will ban the sale of dogs and cats that are not born and reared on the premise where they are sold, with the exemption of shelter and rescue animals.

This stops the sale of mass bred dogs and cats sold through a wholesale distributor.

Mass breeding facilities, often-called puppy mills, are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Minimum federal requirements allow a dog to have two litters within 18 months, and be housed in a cage they can stand in. Many view these allowable practices as inhumane.

Sixteen California cities, including San Diego, have passed ordinances to ban puppy mill dog sales, and minimize the market for mass breed dogs and cats.

Oceanside considered a ban in September 2013, but proposed regulations did not receive enough support.

The ordinance was reintroduced on Dec. 3 at the first meeting Councilman Chuck Lowery held office.

In an interview prior to the meeting, Lowery said his support for a ban on puppy mill dog sales during the election season resonated with many voters, and helped him to win his seat over incumbent Gary Felien.

“It came up every day,” Lowery said.

“They’re totally abusive operations. Female dogs are in the state of breeding all the time. They don’t maintain the facilities.

“Abusing animals is not appropriate.”

Re-elected Councilman Jerry Kern cast the no vote against a ban. Councilman Jack Feller abstained.

Kern said public comments at the meeting were one-sided.

“People have the right to buy what they want to buy,” Kern said. “It’s a regulated legal product.”

Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez have stood in favor of a ban since Oceanside Puppy opened over a year ago.

The pet store sells dogs obtained through the Hunte Corporation, an animal wholesaler that supplies 90,000 dogs to stores across the U.S. annually.

Animal rights supporters have protested outside Oceanside Puppy every weekend since the store opened.

Speakers at the meeting said posted breeder information at the pet store shows that dogs supplied by the Hunte Corporation were bred by Missouri mass breeders who have been sited for violations.

Oceanside Puppy owner David Salinas has previously confirmed that some breeders had indirect violations that were corrected.

Speakers said due to the minimal breeding requirements, indirect violations should not be tolerated.

“If you have a heart you have to realize this is not acceptable conditions for a humane country,” Laurie Michaels, of Encinitas, said.

There were also complaints about Salinas’ business practices that include high interest loans, and leasing options on dogs. Speakers said Salinas targets young military families in neighboring Camp Pendleton with luring advertisements for dogs they cannot afford, and that end up sick.

The proposed ordinance will not close Oceanside Puppy, or affect small-scale breeders. If passed, regulations would ban sales of dogs and cats obtained through wholesale distributors, and likely allow a six-month amortization period for the pet store.

The City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance Jan. 7.

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6 comments

SeniorRights December 4, 2014 at 10:38 am

Imagine how often Hunte Corp. has to breed captive dogs to produce 90,000 puppies per year! Kern shows his true character by commenting: “It’s” a “regulated product,” but what can you expect from someone who held a “bird shoot” as a fundraiser using birds raised in captivity. Comments were “one-sided?” Those pesky Oceanside VOTERS have the audacity to show up and speak to their local officials about community issues, something Kern manages often to ignore! Please attend the Council meeting Jan. 7 in support of the BAN already in effect in 16 other major California cities.

Jesus Garcia December 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Amen, hijo. Tu verum dicis.

Moomoomom December 4, 2014 at 3:49 pm

This store has been an eyesore and embarrassment to Oceanside with weekly protests for over a year. No other business in the COUNTY of San Diego, let alone Oceanside, has received this much bad press, protests, and debate.

Me thinks if this was an honest, small businessman NOT dealing with puppy mills, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. This store is bad for customers, bad for animals, and BAD for Oceanside.

However, there is no question this store deals with USDA “wholesale” breeders (AKA puppy mills), based on the bi-weekly semi truck delivery of puppies, and the inspection reports of sick, abused dogs by the USDA, as the city council presented.

Thank you Promise Yee for staying on top of this much discussed issue!

Kyle Morgan December 30, 2014 at 7:57 am

It’s interesting how certain words are CAPITALIZED in many comments I read on this news site and others. It leads me to believe that they’re written by the SAME author using DIFFERENT pen-names, since that and other stylistic elements are VERY similar.

Carol Reed June 21, 2015 at 2:23 pm

If you are reading the letter I proudly authored,I always sign in using my real name,Carol Reed. As an Indiana public school librarian, I take the lose of tax dollars very seriously, as it may affect my future job security.

Carol Reed June 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm

The Humane Society of the United States, 2009, “Indiana Taxpayers Pay for Puppy Mills,”
“Indiana is losing millions of dollars in lost tax revenue each year. 2010, an Indiana puppy mill operator was charged, failing to remit $193,000 from cash sales puppies she sold. Numerous regulated and illegal unregulated puppy mills are taking advantage of cash sale selling puppies directly to the public through: websites, classified ads, or flea markets, and not remitting state taxes.
“Puppy mills not only affect innocent dogs, but taxpayers as well. The financial burden is passed on to the taxpayers for the cost of caring for discarded unprofitable dogs, dogs confiscated by authorities, both, often require extensive veterinary care and socialization. Further perpetuating the cycle, the future generations of “sold” puppies and adult dogs that are placed in local taxpayer-funded shelters adding more burden to cash strapped shelters.”
We as parents and public employees are in the greatest jeopardy, we can’t afford to sit passively on our laurels as tax dollars are being siphoned away, assets needed to fund our children’s schools and our future job security; while puppy mills are producing the last thing we need more of – puppies!

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