Police to Crack Down on Purchase of Street Pets

Last month, several signs were posted along the boardwalk warning people that it is illegal to buy animals on the street.

Officers will step up their enforcement on people who illegally buy and sell animals along the Venice boardwalk and throughout the city of Los Angeles.

In an effort to protect pets and people, officials on Thursday announced that they will increase their focus on raising public awareness on a one-year-old law that prohibits not only the sale of animals on city streets and sidewalks, but also their purchase.

City workers will distribute 7,000 flyers throughout Los Angeles, mostly in the Fashion District and Venice Beach, where the problem is more prevalent. And, police will ramp up efforts to crack down on violators, according to LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

“Its a shame. Many times we’ve seen bunnies being sold with broken limbs, and when we’ve confiscated animals, man of them were dead in the box,” Smith said.

The L.A. City Council passed a law banning the purchase of animals on the street in August 2011 that imposes fines from $250 for a first offense up to $1,000 for repeat offenders.

“Sale of live animals on city streets poses a risk not only to the animals, but also to those who purchase them,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who introduced legislation banning the practice.

Some pets sold on the street carry infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans, especially children. And, many animals are too young to be away from their mothers, according to Brenda Barnette, head of the city’s animal service department.

In the last month, 18 metal signs, measuring about two feet by three feet, were installed in Los Angeles, 12 in the Fashion District and six in Venice along the boardwalk.

In Venice, Voice for the Animals Foundation, a nonprofit based in Santa Monica, has tried to reduce the illegal practice by sending uncover volunteers to the boardwalk to alert police. 

Meyla Kaplan, executive director at Voice for Animals, said that she and staffers have seen people carrying wheelbarrows of puppies as young as three weeks old to be sold along the boardwalk. She hopes fining people who buy street pets will dry up the market for the sellers.

Phoenix October 13, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Why do you sound so offended when its the rescuers who work tirelessly to save these lives every day? Are you not aware that 4 million dogs get murdered every year in the u.s. because of people with your mindset? 1 million of them killed in California alone. I'm sure youre also no aware that the majority of death row dogs are still healthy puppies with so much life left in them. Open your eyes and stop being ignorant to this issue. Yes, only responsible people spay and neuter, because they care. You may love your one dog but how can you love all dogs if you continue to let this happen. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Go volunteer at a shelter for one day and maybe you'll change your mind, if you have a heart.
burned@thestake October 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Actually I believe in the RIGHTS of animals to exist and procreate - without regard to their relationship to people. It is an anthropomorphic attitude and anthropocentric worldview - which you seem to share - which allows for "shelters", that are essentially little death camps, to operate. Don't blame me for YOUR collaboration with the system's violence. Why don't you keep your patronizing concern, and misguided "help" in SM, where well-intended - but nonetheless BAD - ideas like this are part of the culture of 'pat-yourself-on-the-back-tivism' and unwitting collaboration with STATE violence and oppression. Isn't there someone smoking in an apartment, whose cat or dog you could "save", by snitching-them-out, to the po-po?
Jennifer P October 15, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Hey 'burned,' People can still sell the animals from their homes. They can advertise on Craig's list or ebay or stick a sign on a post. They just can't sell them on the street. The sad parade of baby bunnies and tiny turtles that are sold on the street in horrible conditions is what prompted this. Plus, the people selling 3 week old puppies in Venice. I found one of these puppies, apparently dumped when it wasn't sold on the street, under a car 3 blocks from the beach. She was only 4 weeks old. I too think animals have rights, and one of them is to be safe from this kind of abuse.
burned@thestake October 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Neglect and abuse of animals is already a crime. I don't encourage people to do things that are bad for animals - like separating them from their mothers too young etc.. But I reject the notion that ALL people selling animals on the street do this. So you're saying that now people have to sell 3-week old puppies on craigslist? how does that help anyone. Moving it from the public square simlly seems to relocate the 'problem', which you say is so prevalent. Wouldn' that make it that much easier to get away with? And when the city of LA amends the code to say, not simply on 'city streets' , but anywhere within city limits, what then. You've already established the precedent that this OK.
Flexi October 19, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I agree with burned@thestake. I get sick of commercials where they show poor animals in cages saying if we don't give them money they will "have to" kill them. In nature, animals balance and die according to food availability. In our human world, we put them in cages and pimp them for money. I don't care about those "tirelessly working people" because, they have food, and jobs and are complicit in the exploitation of defenseless creatures for their own means and income. Want a real solution? Let them all go, and get out of the way, they were here before us, and when we completely destroy our environment and all the things we value money over, guess who is going to survive it? Not people like those of you who are brainwashed into thinking murder for money is a solution.


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