West Hollywood City Council to Vote on Historic Puppy Mill Ban

Posted on February 1, 2010

Animal Legal Defense Fund and Companion Animal Protection Society Urge City to Protect Consumers and Animals from Cruel Puppy Mills with First of its Kind Ban

For immediate release

Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Puppies in a cageWest Hollywood, Calif. – This evening, the West Hollywood City Council is voting on an ordinance that would ban the sale of non-shelter dogs and cats at pet stores – effectively banning the sale of animals bred at filthy “puppy mills.” The national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has sent a letter to the City Council, urging them to pass the ordinance. ALDF worked with the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) to draft the original ordinance, following a CAPS investigation of the West Hollywood pet store Elite Animals, whose dogs were purchased from a Midwestern puppy mill. The ordinance, which would be the first of its kind in the nation if passed, allows for an exemption for the adoptions of shelter and rescue animals.

When: Monday, February 1, 2010, 6:30pm – 10:00 p.m.
Where: 647 No. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood

Puppy mills are commercial "factories" where the "product" is puppies and dogs who are treated as machines. "Breeding" dogs are kept in overcrowded wire cages for their entire lives with little, if any, human contact or veterinary care. If the puppy mill is outdoors, the dogs are unprotected from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. They live with the stench of their own urine and feces and, if the cages are stacked on top of each other, the dogs on the lower level are hit with excrement from above. "Puppy mill puppies are sold in pet stores," explains ALDF Founder and General Counsel Joyce Tischler. "The simplest way to assure concerned West Hollywood consumers that they are not supporting puppy mills is to ban the sale of animals at pet stores, and to encourage ‘pet stores’ to serve as facilities for adoptions from shelters and rescue groups instead."

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit www.aldf.org. A copy of ALDF’s letter to the City Council follows:

January 29, 2010

Hon. City Council
City of West Hollywood
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Dear members of the City Council,

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is a national non-profit organization of attorneys and supporting members that specializes in the just treatment of animals within our legal system. ALDF is involved in every aspect of animal law and has over thirty years of experience litigating cases and analyzing legal issues concerning animals.

We applaud the City of West Hollywood for its leadership role in passing compassionate animal protection legislation. Moreover, we are pleased to have assisted the City Council and the Companion Animal Protection Society in drafting an ordinance to assure the citizens of West Hollywood that they are not purchasing animals from puppy mills. This ordinance will have the dual benefit of saving the lives of animals in shelters and sending a warning shot over the bough of the puppy mill industry. On a personal note, as the owner of a rescued dog who survived ten miserable years trapped in a puppy mill, I offer my thanks for this pioneering step to end the suffering and abuse that countless animals experience in puppy mills.

On behalf of the over 100,000 supporters of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, we urge the City Council to continue in its leadership role and pass the ordinance banning the sale of dogs and cats in the City’s pet stores.  


Joyce Tischler
Founder and General Counsel

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