The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-2 Wednesday to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits purchased from commercial breeders.
People can still purchase pets directly from breeders, just not in stores, which will be able to obtain non-breeder stock from the city's animal shelters or humane societies registered with the city's Department of Animal Services.
City Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Mitchell Englander cast the dissenting votes.
City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced the measure earlier this year with the intention of shutting down puppy and kitten mills and reducing the tens of thousands of euthanizations performed on unclaimed animals each year. The city euthanized more than 21,000 dogs, cats and rabbits in each of the last two fiscal years—about 37 percent of the animals impounded.
In a Patch poll, 63-percent of voters approved of the ban while 30-percent disapproved, saying rescue pets need a home but there shouldn't a ban against buying animals from commercial breeders in pet stores.
Pet shops and other retailers will have six months before the law goes into effect. The penalty for violating the ban will start at $250 for a first offense and goes up to $1,000 for a third strike.
Companion Animal Protection Society West Coast Director Carole Raphaelle Davis said the law would help end "the blood money contracts between puppy mill owners who abuse animals and L.A. pet retailers."
"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," Davis said.