West Hollywood Votes on Pet Shop Ban

Landmark legislation was passed on February 1st as the West Hollywood City Council unanimously voted to stop the retail sale of cats and dogs at pet stores.  Only pet shops that “re-home” rescued or shelter animals will be allowed to stay in business.


The city ordinance was initiated by Councilmember Jeffrey Prang and was backed by The Humane Society of the United State, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Companion Animal Protection Society(CAPS).


The idea for the ordinance came after an investigation of a West Hollywood pet store called Elite Animals found the owner was breaking federal laws by importing animals for sale.


Carole Davis of CAPS and other animal advocates were concerned about the incident and wanted to be sure it would never happen again in their town.  So Davis and the Animal Legal Defense Fund joined forces to draft the ordinance for the West Hollywood council.


Davis told the NBC affiliate, “West Hollywood’s City Council has shown great leadership, wise judgment and compassion,” in taking that action and, “by considering an ordinance banning the sale of cats and dogs in our city’s pet stores.  It will save countless shelter animals’ lives locally and will send a strong message to abusive commercial breeders all over the nation.”


This isn’t the first time West Hollywood has taken the initiative to be a leader in the name animals.  Earlier this year the city voted to ban the de-clawing of cats. 


The new ordinance will make the city off-limits to animals bred at puppy mills and commercial cat breeding facilities.  Only a small number of cities in the country have stepped up to the plate with legislation like this.  The West Hollywood law is similar to one adopted in South Lake Tahoe, CA in 2009, which only allows for the sale of “humanely bred, reared or sheltered animals.”


Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS was at the council meeting. He said, “With so many dogs and cats available for adoption from animal shelters and rescue groups as well as from compassionate, humane breeders, there is simply no reason to inhumanely ship puppy mill bred dogs around the country to stock pet stores.”


Advocates see the new law as an opportunity to get more homeless pets out of overcrowded Los Angeles shelters.  The city estimates that in 2009 more than 35,000 dogs and 67,000 cats were euthanized in L.A. city and county shelters. 


Several pet shops in L.A. have already changed their business plan from selling commercially bred animals to re-homing rescued cats and dogs.  Orange Bone made the switch to a humane pet store in 2008 and Pets’ Delight in a nearby town changed its focus to shelter animals in 2009.  And pet supply stores such as PetSmart and PETCO have never sold puppies or kittens. 


Nationwide more than 500 independent pet shops have voluntarily signed The HSUS pledge to not sell puppies at their store.  Click here to see if the names of the shops in your area.


The vote on Monday was a preliminary action.  The ordinance requires a second vote in two weeks before it becomes law.  Then CAPS and other groups say they will tackle neighboring communities.  Advocates are hopeful this ban will be the beginning of the end to puppy mills.


Heaven Can Wait Animal Society

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Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

New G.
New G.2 years ago

Thank you.

Manel Dias
Manel Dias2 years ago

Other states in the US also should follow this type of similar animal cruelty laws to protect the vulnerable. Greedy and money hungry filthy humans will do anything to get their pockets fattened while inhumanely putting the innocent animals lives in harmsway and abusing them. Why anyone should import the cats and dogs to US we already have more than enough cats and dogs within own territory and within USA. Such evil people should be prohibited owning animals or pet shops altogether. They are the worst vermins who destroy the planet earth.

ann paveletz
.3 years ago

Give Hollywood credit. They do not live in a make believe world.Ann

Waltraud U.
Waltraud U.3 years ago

Good news.
Hope the will become rocket-starters !

Majvi T.
Majvi Traff4 years ago

I hope this is a beginning to an end for puppy mills and kitty mills

Linda P.
Linda P.4 years ago

So wonderful,I hope all states follow this example. This will help to shut down the torture chambers(AKA Puppy & Kitten Mills) that are around only for profit, we all know the money doesn't go for the care of the animals.

Gypsy Willow
Jamie Willow4 years ago

This is awesome news! It's going to make such a difference!

S R S.
Re S.5 years ago

What wonderful news! We should all spread the word of this to encourage other pet businesses to reconsider their practices. This is one Hollywood trend I'm happy to jump on board with!

Karilyn K.
Karilyn K.5 years ago

Makes me want to move to West Hollywood !!!YAY!