West Hollywood uses Tahoe rules to eye sales ban on cats, dogs | TahoeDailyTribune.com

West Hollywood uses Tahoe rules to eye sales ban on cats, dogs

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – People shopping for pets in West Hollywood might soon wonder why there aren’t any doggies in the windows anymore.

The city is poised to give final approval to an ordinance that would end sales of dogs and cats as a way to reduce the demand that can lead to inhumane conditions in the breeding industry.

The ordinance was approved on a first reading earlier in the month. If it passes a second reading Tuesday, the law would take effect March 19.

Councilman Jeffrey Prang said the move would strike a blow to puppy mills and other cruel, assembly-line breeding.

“There’s so many abandoned animals,” said Ivan Merino, a manager at Collar & Leash in West Hollywood. “People keep buying dogs and cats and then after a few months they just dump them.”

The Humane Society of the United States said the ordinance was modeled after a similar law adopted last year in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

More than 500 independent pet shops nationwide, including 38 in California, also refuse to sell puppies in their stores.

Under the West Hollywood proposal, all pet stores would have to stop selling cats and dogs by September 2011.

People who want “companion animals” should consider adopting from municipal shelters or nonprofit rescue agencies, Prang said.

Documents filed with the ordinance said 35,000 dogs and 67,000 cats were euthanized in city and county shelters in Los Angeles in the past year, even as customers kept buying puppies and kittens at pet stores.

West Hollywood was the first city in the country to outlaw cat declawing. San Francisco, Santa Monica, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills followed with their own bans.

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