Proposed Los Angeles Ordinance Validates Puppy Mill Criticism

Posted by Posted by Chris Berry, ALDF's Litigation Fellow on August 17, 2012

How much is that puppy in the window of your local pet store? A lot more than just the $1,000 price tag. Lurking behind the shimmering windows and puppy eyes is a sordid underground of puppy, kitten and rabbit mills that churn out a steady supply young animals to stock the shelves.

These mills are large-scale breeding operations where females are constantly breeding in caged, unsanitary conditions with very little care or oversight. These animals often suffer from serious health ailments due to the unsanitary conditions and occasional inbreeding. Government regulations are insufficient and under-enforced. Additionally, animals purchased at pet stores displace shelter adoptions at a time when a shocking 4 million unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized in United States shelters every year.

Against this backdrop, organizations like the Animal Legal Defense Fund are pushing back hard against puppy mills. ALDF recently asked the USDA to finalize a rule to regulate internet pet stores and step up its overall enforcement. ALDF also filed a class-action lawsuit against a Los Angeles pet store that sold unhealthy puppy mill puppies leading to tragedy for the dogs and their adopters.

In a welcome and surprising move, the Los Angeles City Council is considering an ordinance that validates puppy mill criticism from groups like ALDF. The proposed ordinance requires that all dogs, cats, and rabbits sold in Los Angeles pet stores come exclusively from shelters, humane societies, or authorized rescue groups. If the ordinance passes, Los Angeles would join a growing community of cities that ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores.

Take Action

Contact members of the LA City Council and tell them that you support the retail pet sale ban! You don’t have to live in LA to show your support!

If you live in LA, you can find your council district here. Click on the name of a council member to email them.

Ed Reyes
Paul Krekorian
Dennis P. Zine
Tom LaBonge
Paul Koretz
Tony Cardenas
(213) -473-7006
Richard Alarcon
Bernard Parks
Jan Perry
Herb J. Wesson, Jr.
Bill Rosendahl
Mitchell Englander
Eric Garcetti
Jose Huizar
Joe Buscaino

4 thoughts on “Proposed Los Angeles Ordinance Validates Puppy Mill Criticism

  1. Karen Clintsman says:

    Regarding the retail sale of animals — I am 100% behind you, but I think you should maybe create a petition on Then, post it up on your page.

    Trust me, it makes it easier to get things passed. I’ve signed plenty of petitions on that site and it works.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  2. Isabella Ireland says:

    Well done! California is always ahead. :)

  3. Debra Daniel says:

    I’m so excited over this! I hope that other states will follow! This has to stop! These are LIVING beings just like us who feel PAIN and EMOTION..ABUSE,NEGLECT, TORTURE and CRUELTY is TOTALLY unacceptable

    I am about to start my own website in support against the Abuse of animals…God help us to help them! Every second of 24/7 animals are being tortured, not just in puppy mills..I cry everyday..I wake up every morning with them on my mind..

  4. Converted Thinker says:

    I do have a comment about this. Although I never owned a “puppy mill”, I did allow the breeding of my Maltese-Yorkie and my male Chihuahua-Yorkie. The first litter produced beautiful little Yorkie-Huahua-Tese pups. EVERYONE who saw them wanted one. We read books on proper care, vaccinated all of the pups, and insisted on interviews, “references”, and “visitation” with the pups to inspect the interaction between the pup and the prospective new “parent”. We also worked with our local vet to put together “wellness packages” that were to to be purchased by the prospective “guardian” and this was mandatory. We ensured that each prospective guardian had the means as well as the fortitude to love and care for these babies, as well as sign a commitment to continue that love and care.

    At the time, I did not realize what I was doing. In actuality, I was bringing more dogs into this world that required love and proper attention, when there are countless thousands, even millions euthanized each year, that “could” have potentially been adopted, had I not been a part of the problem, rather than a part of the solution.

    Since that realization, (4 litters later), I have had all of my dogs spayed and neutered. I love them like family. They are my “babies”, and they receive better care than most children in the city that I live in.

    Thanks to organizations like ALDF and others, whose efforts to educate the public on such matters, my entire outlook has changed. I despise “breeders” for what they are doing to those poor females, and God only knows what is the true “destination” of the pups that are adopted out, sold for profit, etc.

    I have six small dogs, ranging in weight from 2.5 lbs to 8 lbs. They are all cared for and loved deeply. They are spayed/neutered and are vaccinated, groomed, fed all-natural dog food, and they all have play-time outside daily, as well as clean and comfortable places to sleep at night. (4 sleep with my husband and me and two sleep in kennels with clean “memory-foam” beds that are washed regularly). They all receive daily “individual lovies” (meaning personal time with me, and my husband), taking turns being sung to, cuddled and receiving “doggie massages”. And… we play with all of them, as a group, as well.

    Our city just cited me for having “too many dogs”. Someone had complained of a “manure” smell. It was NOT from my dogs, it was actually “manure” that our neighbor had spread on his garden, along with the droppings of his multiple chickens and roosters. The officer stated that she was not here to investigate that, rather to determine how many dogs I had. Now they want to take four of them away from me. I am so heartbroken that I am beyond depressed. When we bought our home, we believed that we could have six dogs, or we would not have purchased our home in this city. I just don’t know how taking my dogs away, and possibly having to euthanize one or more, “because they were not adopted”, could possibly be positive in any light.
    I go to court on November 15th to plea to keep my babies. They are my life! I have some disabilities that prevent me from working outside the home, but I spend my days caring for and playing with these babies. They follow me around like the “Pied Piper”, and are very well behaved for “small-breed dogs”. Barking is minimal, and cleaning up the yard of feces is extremely easy. Loving them, hugging, petting, massaging, feeding and singing to them just comes naturally.

    We are very cautious about what we put into our dogs bodies. They eat an all-natural dog food. They are, “house dogs”. Their total combined weight is less than that of one Labrador retriever! So…my dogs combined POOP is less than that of one single dog of that size, yet “the city” allows for families to have 2 dogs and 2 cats! Only ONE of my dogs comes close to being as large as a standard cat! So, it would make sense that I could have four dogs, at least!…If I choose not to have cats.

    The local governments have been arbitrarily seizing, impounding and killing dogs all over this nation with impunity for too long now! What good and positive purpose is this practice of dictating how many dogs a household can love, and thereby seizing them and often times killing them? If I were “hoarding” dogs, that would be different. I am not keeping 10 or 30 or 100 dogs. I am not breeding dogs…I just want to keep my six dogs. The seventh dog in our household is my son’s dog. My son is unemployed, bi-polar and living with us. His dog is also a small breed dog, weighing about 6 lbs. My son NEEDS “Tugger” as a companion, for mental health reasons. Those of you who love your “pets”, understand that they are actually “family”.

    I have learned a lot in the past few years. If anyone reads this, and can offer advice, guidance or assistance, so that I can keep my babies…PLEASE email me at It is an atrocity to disengage me from my “family” due to an ordinance controlling the number of dogs to 2. This law/ordinance/code is not properly written, in my opinion. I could understand where having and keeping 6 large-breed dogs in the city could pose a problem. Aside from the lack of space to run and play…the feces would be horrendous, if not kept up on a daily basis. (There is also a “pack mentality” that should be considered with large breed dogs vs. small breed). Our dogs are not violent nor aggressive. They are real “lovers” and so dedicated and devoted. They are more “humane” than many humans are.

    I may be grasping at straws, but I love my little babies, and don’t want to be forced to “give them up” to anyone. Please help.

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