Monday, November 5, 2012

Are Puppy Mills on the Way Out?

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz once bought a Bichon Frise from a puppy mill. The dog had extensive medical problems. Koretz blames his dog's death on the conditions in the puppy mill. For the past two years, he has been leading the charge to ban puppy mill sales in Los Angeles; and on October 31, he succeeded.

The new law bans the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits, requiring that pet stores get their animals only from shelters.

Los Angeles is now the largest city in the U.S. to pass such a law, but it is not the first. A number of other California cities, including Chula Vista, already have laws restricting the retail sale of pets, and many other cities are considering them. The Chicago city council has already said that if the law passed in Los Angeles, they would follow suit.

The Best Friends Animal Society (about which I wrote last month) estimates that California shelters take in about a million dogs and cats a year, and kill about half of them. They also believe that about half of all pets bred in puppy mills end up in shelters. Their hope is that the number of shelter animals can be reduced, and that many people who don't want to get a pet from a shelter will happily buy the same animal from a pet store.

Best Friends has been spearheading efforts all over the country to get their puppy mill initiatives passed.