The Los Angeles City Council tentatively voted on Wednesday to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits purchased from commercial breeders.
Instead, pet stores would be able to obtain the animals from the city's animal shelters or humane societies registered with the city's Department of Animal Services. Individuals would still be allowed to purchase pets directly from breeders. The ordinance was not passed unanimously -- the vote was 12-2 -- forcing to it come back for a second vote next week that will require a simple majority for passage.
The law proposed by City Councilman Paul Koretz is intended to shut down puppy and kitten mills and reduce the tens of thousands of euthanizations performed on unclaimed animals each year. The penalty for a first violation would be $250.
The fine would go up to $1,000 for a third strike. City Council members Bill Rosendahl and Mitchell Englander opposed the ban. Rosendahl asked that rabbits not be included on behalf of Allan's Aquarium and Pet Center in Venice, where he said he purchased his four rabbits.
But Koretz declined to drop commercially-bred rabbits from the proposed ban. He said pet stores could find an "adequate supply" of rabbits from shelters, especially around Easter.