Los Angeles-October 24, 2012
The Companion Animal Protection Society announced this morning that the Los Angeles City Council voted to pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores.
In February of last year, CAPS provided L.A.’s City Council with the results of its two-year investigation into L.A.’s retail pet stores and the California and Midwest commercial breeding factories that supply them. The undercover investigation included video and photographic evidence of puppy mill operators who routinely violated federal law (Animal Welfare Act) as well as state laws to protect animals. The report given to council member Paul Koretz (the author of this ordinance) included hundreds of USDA inspection reports that demonstrated the extent of mistreatment occurring in puppy mills that supply the Los Angeles pet market.
CAPS uncovered evidence that L.A.’s pet retailers are currently in business with commercial breeders (puppy mills) who are neglecting and abusing animals and repeatedly violating USDA minimum standards of care. CAPS also discovered that L.A.’s pet stores are fraudulently selling sick and dying animals that come from these substandard commercial breeding facilities and misleading consumers.
In addition to its undercover operations, CAPS organized hundreds of protests at Los Angeles pet stores, converting several retailers to a humane business model on which the L.A. ordinance is based. Dogs, cats and rabbits from rescue organizations and our municipal shelter system will now have the opportunity to be adopted by the public in L.A.’s pet stores.
The city attorney’s office has informed CAPS that the sales ban ordinance will officially take effect after next week when it goes for a final vote with a “super majority.”
Animals raised in commercial mills for the $84 billion a year pet industry typically live in cages, are exposed to harsh temperatures and are not given adequate space, medical care or socialization. They are bred every heat cycle until death. The animals live in their enclosures 24/7 for their entire lives. Most of them have never been allowed out of their cages and are driven mad, forever turning in circles. They are often sick, injured and matted, covered in their own excrement. This ordinance succeeds in sending a message to commercial breeders that the public is insisting on acquiring pets from responsible breeders, rescue organizations or municipal shelters.
This ordinance does not effect responsible hobby breeders, only high volume commercial breeders who sell to pet dealers.
“After eight years of investigations and protests, we are satisfied and optimistic about breaking the blood money contracts between puppy mill owners who abuse animals and L.A. pet retailers. This ordinance will relieve suffering animals in mills and help save the lives of animals who are killed at Los Angeles Animal Services. The LAAS 2011-2012 body count is unacceptable, with 9,056 dogs and 12,061 cats killed in our shelters. We are relieved that finally, the cries of L.A.’s shelter animals have been heard. Puppy mills and cruel pet factories will fade into history at last.” ---Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast Director, Companion Animal Protection Society www.caps-web.org
“Finally, an end to rabbits bred in cruel pet factories who are then trucked to unscrupulous retail animal dealers here in L.A., only to live out their sad lives in a cage. We have high hopes that consumers will now gladly turn to the shelters to adopt homeless and sterilized rabbits.” –Lejla Hadzimuratovic—President of Bunny world Foundation
Media contact: Carole Davis 310-990-5758