West Hollywood Puppy Mill Animal Retail Sale Ban Passes

April 24, 2014

West Hollywood, California (February 3, 2010) – As expected, West Hollywood passed the ordinance prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.



Puppies in a CAPS-investigated Minnesota puppy mill. Photo by Elle Wittelsbach of Strangest Angels Rescue. WeHo News.

Nobody, however, expected the ordinance to pass by acclamation without debate after endorsement by the head of the national Humane Society’s D.C office, the Mayor Pro Tem of Yucaipa (also the chief Veterinarian for Riverside County) and a South Tahoe resident who helped pass the first such ban in that city.

The new ordinance prohibits the sale of all dogs and cats at companion animal stores, providing exemptions for humanely bred, reared or sheltered animals. The law provides a period for stores to adjust to the new law.

Jeffrey Prang, who with the help of the Legal Animal Defense Fund and Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) wrote the bill, thanked the crowd for coming out to support the measure and acknowledged Wehoan Carole Raphaelle Davis, local CAPS president as the “tireless advocate against puppy mills…” who brought the issue to his attention a year ago.

CAPS has been actively protesting puppy mill retailers in and around West Hollywood, successfully convincing several store owners to switch from puppy or kitty mill animal sales to rescue or breeder sales.


|| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK ||

One of those stores, Elite Animals of West Hollywood, agreed to change its business model this past year after weeks of protests outside the store (see WeHo Puppy Mill Retailer Picketed, Relents.

Only weeks after that victory, though, CAPS protesters became victims of a still-unsolved assault, with a sniper allegedly firing a pellet gun at and hitting three members of the group protesting a Santa Monica pet store (see WeHo Protesters Shot At Puppy Mill Action). No one was injured in the attack.


|| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK ||



Ed Buck and Carole Raphael Davis reacting to sniper fire that hit them both, as well as a third animal rights protester. Photo courtesy CAPS.

Just as “my shoes are made in a shoe factory, pets are made in a pet factory,” said Ms. Davis Monday night, then calling West Hollywood a “model for the nation” for leading the way in acknowledging the evidence of animal abuse by mass-breeders and acting to stop it.

“This step signals the end of puppy mills,” she declared. “You’re making history for the animal protection movement tonight, and I am so proud.”

The first public speaker of the evening, Yucaipa Mayor Pro Tem Allan Drusys, also Chief Veterinarian for the County of Riverside, drove in to speak because, “the potential abuse of animals at puppy mills makes us all ill.

“We have so many wonderful dogs and cats in our shelters – should your local shelters run out of animals to sell, I’m sure I could find some in either Riverside or San Bernardino County; we’ll also be happy to transport them out here for you.”


|| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK ||

Second up came the President and CEO of the Humane Society, Wayne Pacelle, who flew in from its national headquarters in Washington D.C. to help bring a national spotlight to the cause.

“I’m awfully glad to be here to support your legislation. It’s foresighted and important,” he said. “There are more than 10,000 puppy mills that breed dogs like cash crops,” supplying the nation’s retailers.


|| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK ||



CAPS protesting Elite Animals in West Hollywood. Photo by Elle Wittelsbach of Strangest Angels Rescue. WeHo News.

“The animals are confined to a life of incessant breeding, confined, exposed to the elements,” he charged, “and they’re turning out puppies for the pet trade at the same time animal shelters and rescue groups are struggling to contend with the problem of too many animals and too little space – and there’s too much euthanasia that’s resulting.”

The leader of the nation’s largest, and arguably best known, animal protection group called the city’s measure an attempt “to harmonize the situation by keeping the puppy mill dogs out of the community and therefore encouraging adoption,” said Mr. Pacelle, declaring, “you’re sending a great message, and we’re watching it nationwide.”

Dawn Armstrong, formerly of West Hollywood, came down from South Lake Tahoe, which she said created “the first known such ban in March 2009,” to encourage the city’s passage of the ordinance.

“The caring, courageous quality of your city is known far beyond its city limits,” said the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society, Ms. Armstrong.


| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK |

Pointing out WeHo’s pioneering cat de-clawing ban of 2005, she said, “The city of West Hollywood has the eye of the media and the power to impact the rest of the country, if not the world, with the vote taken tonight.”

South Lake Tahoe’s ordinance may have been the first in the nation to pass, but West Hollywood’s ordinance will take effective before that one, in September, 2010; Lake Tahoe’s stores have until May, 2011 to come into compliance.


|| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK ||



Another brood of pups from that Minnesota puppy mill. Photo by Elle Wittelsbach of Strangest Angels Rescue. WeHo News.

Donald DeRose, founder of Last Chance For Animals and 36-yr WeHo resident, has worked with the city to ban the sale of animals on the city’s streets.

He said, “LCA has been fighting puppy mills for many years and have had quite a few successes… and we want the whole country to adopt your policy.”

The only speaker to toss cold water on the jubilation and congratulations was Wehoan Tim Raza, who declaimed what he called “the fanaticism” of the pet adoption agencies on the issue, saying he felt prohibition never works as well as regulation.

“There should be much more regulation [of puppy mills] and a more consumer-oriented approach followed through regarding the practices,” he said.


|| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK ||

According to the Humane Society, retailers buy hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats housed and bred at substandard mass breeding facilities known as “puppy mills” or “kitten factories” in inhumane conditions.

Still, while retailers sold these mass-produced animals, Los Angeles city and county shelters euthanized more than 35,000 dogs and 67,000 cats in 2009.


|| CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK FOR MORE || CLICK ||