OLR Research Report


August 20, 2013

 

2013-R-0328

MUNICIPALITIES THAT BAN PET STORE SALES OF DOGS

By: Janet L. Kaminski Leduc, Senior Legislative Attorney

You asked for (1) a list of U.S. municipalities that have ordinances banning the retail sale of dogs and (2) an overview of San Diego, California's recently adopted ordinance. You also want to know where pet stores obtain the dogs that they offer for sale.

SUMMARY

At least 28 U.S. municipalities have ordinances banning the retail sale of dogs. Thirteen of these are in California; seven in Florida; four in New Jersey; and the rest are in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

The San Diego, California ordinance makes it unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer, or sell any live dog, cat, or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business, or other commercial establishment located in San Diego. But the ordinance allows for these establishments to sell animals (1) obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, humane society, or nonprofit rescue organization or (2) bred on the premises. It also allows them to maintain certain animals on their premises for the purpose of public adoptions.

Retail pet stores usually obtain their dogs from a number of sources, including breeders regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and smaller, hobby breeders who are not subject to federal regulation, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which represents pet stores across the country. (See OLR Research Report 2013-R-0309 for information about breeders.) Animal advocates, including the Humane Society of the United States, believe that pet stores obtain many of their animals from “puppy mills” and “kitten factories,” places where dogs and cats are bred and raised in cramped, unhealthy, inhumane conditions.

MUNICIPALITIES THAT BAN PET STORE SALES OF ANIMALS

At least 28 U.S. municipalities have ordinances banning the retail sale of live animals (usually dogs and cats), based on information the Humane Society of the United States provided us. Thirteen of these municipalities are in California; seven in Florida; four in New Jersey; and the rest are in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Table 1 lists each municipality, the ordinance citation, the year the ordinance was enacted, and the animals that are banned.

Table 1: U.S. Municipalities that Have Banned the Retail Sale of Pets

City and State

Ordinance

Year Enacted

Pet Store Animal Sales Banned

Albuquerque, New Mexico

9-2-4-4

2010

“Companion animals,” defined as cats and dogs

Alisa Viejo, California

6.02.120

2012

Cats and dogs

Austin, Texas

3-2-3

2010

Cats and dogs

Brick, New Jersey

98-70

2012

Cats and dogs

Burbank, California

5-1-1439

2012

Cats and dogs

Chula Vista, California

6.08.108

2012

Cats and dogs

Coral Gables, Florida

10-33

2011

Dogs

Dana Point, California

10.10.140

2012

Cats and dogs

El Paso, Texas

7.14.020

2010 (took effect 2011)

Cats and dogs

Flagler Beach, Florida

5-17

2011

Live animals

Fountain, Colorado

6.04.100

2011

Cats and dogs

Glendale, California

6.10.020

2011

Cats and dogs

Hallandale, Florida

6-12

2012

Cats and dogs

Hermosa Beach, California

6.16.020

2010

Cats and dogs

Hoboken, New Jersey

93.15

2013

Cats and dogs

Huntington Beach, California

7.12.180

2012

Cats and dogs

Irvine, California

4-5-506

2011

Cats and dogs

Laguna Beach, California

6.12.160

2012

Cats and dogs

Lake Worth, Florida

6-8

2011

Cats and dogs

Lauderdale Lakes, Florida

10-36

2011

Dogs

Los Angeles, California

53.73

2012

Cats, dogs, and rabbits

Manasquan, New Jersey

5-12

2012

Cats and dogs

North Bay Village, Florida

91.11

2011

Dogs

Opa-Locka, Florida

5-35

2011

Dogs

Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

5-23.2

2012

Cats, dogs, and other mammals (other than hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, gerbils, rats, and ferrets)

San Diego, California

42.0706

2013

Cats, dogs, and rabbits

South Lake Tahoe, California

32-31.1

2009 (took effect in 2011)

Cats and dogs

West Hollywood, California

9.50.020

2010

Cats and dogs

Sources: The Humane Society of United States and individual municipal ordinances

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA ORDINANCE

On August 5, 2013, the San Diego, California city council passed an ordinance to prohibit, with certain exceptions, the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits within the city. It takes effect on September 4, 2013 (30 days after passage) and is available here: http://docs.sandiego.gov/council_reso_ordinance/rao2013/O-20280.pdf.

The ordinance makes it unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer, or sell any live dog, cat, or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business, or other commercial establishment (collectively “establishments”) located in San Diego. But these establishments may sell dogs, cats, and rabbits obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, a humane society, or a nonprofit rescue organization.

All establishments selling dogs, cats, or rabbits must maintain a “certificate of source” for each of the animals and make it available upon request to animal control officers, law enforcement, code compliance officials, or other city employees enforcing the ordinance. A “certificate of source” is a document from the city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, humane society, or nonprofit rescue organization declaring it is the source of the animal.

The ordinance does not apply to the display, offer for sale, delivery, bartering, auction, giving away, transfer, or sale of dogs, cats, or rabbits from the premises on which they were bred and reared.

Additionally, the ordinance states that it does not prevent the owner, operator, or employees of an establishment from (1) providing space and appropriate care for animals owned by a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, humane society, or nonprofit rescue organization and (2) maintaining those animals at the establishment for the purpose of a public adoption.

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