The new ban will go into effect 30 days after it’s signed into law. Within six months, all retail stores within L.A. city limits will be required to only sell pets from animal shelters, humane societies and registered rescue organizations.
Violators of the law will face misdemeanor charges and a first-time fine of $250, which could increase up to $1,000.
After three years, it will be determined if the new law is effective in reducing the euthanization of shelter animals and increasing adoptions. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, of the more than 57,000 dogs and cats taken in by city shelters last year, 25 percent of the dogs and 57 percent of the cats were euthanized.
The new requirement is a major blow to the puppy mills that supply many retail stores with animals that are kept in filthy, overcrowded facilities.
“It is good to see the City of Los Angeles move in the right direction for animals,” spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein said in a statement last week. “Though many see this as only a symbolic gesture, as it only affects 14 pet stores, it represents a shift in the perception of animal welfare. Our city leaders understand the impact unscrupulous breeding has on pet overpopulation. Hopefully, other U.S. cities will follow our lead.”
PHOTO: Jenn Lowther