The Coast News Group
City Council candidate Dana Corso rallies with supporters for her election and against puppy mills. The issue of puppy mills exemplifies differences in the candidates’ points of view. Photo by Promise Yee
City Council candidate Dana Corso rallies with supporters for her election and against puppy mills. The issue of puppy mills exemplifies differences in the candidates’ points of view. Photo by Promise Yee

Candidate joins in protests against puppy mill practices in city

OCEANSIDE — City Council candidate Dana Corso recently joined protesters on Oceanside Boulevard to oppose puppy mill practices and pet stores that buy from breeders who have USDA infractions on record.

Animal rights supporters have held weekly protests outside the Oceanside Puppy pet store since the shop, which buys purebred dogs from a wholesale supplier, opened more than a year ago.

Corso said she stood with the animal rights protesters on Aug. 31 to object to puppy mill practices and to support protesters’ voices as citizens.

Oceanside City Council considered adding regulations to curtail pet shops from buying dogs from wholesalers in September 2013, after San Diego passed a similar law.

Councilmen and fellow City Council candidates Jerry Kern and Gary Felien shot down the amendment being drafted, saying they did not have enough information to make a decision.

Felien proposed that interested parties get together with the city manager and define “puppy mill” and “reputable breeder” before drafting a ban, to ensure the same standards are set for pet stores and animal rescue groups.

Kern and Felien recently said they still stand against putting additional regulations in place.

The ordinance amendment proposed last September by Councilwoman Esther Sanchez asked that city dog sales be limited to canines obtained through the humane society, a nonprofit animal rescue organization or an Oceanside breeder.

Corso said an amendment to safeguard animals should be looked into further. She added the only way to go forward with the discussion is to elect new council members.

“I’m in favor of helping them (the animal rights protesters) as much as I can,” Corso said.

“Mr. Salina (Oceanside Puppy owner) gets most of his puppies from the Hunte Corporation (a dog wholesale distributor).

“The conditions (some breeders for Hunte keep dogs in) are horrific, and totally unacceptable.”

The issue of puppy mills underlines fundamental differences in the candidates’ points of view.

Kern said puppy mills are a non-issue, and called protesters “animal rights extremists,” and their concerns “wild accusations.”

“We’re trying to dictate how people are trying to buy animals,” Kern said. “We’re picking winners and losers in this industry. If we don’t like you, you don’t get to do business.”

He added the dog breeding industry is well-regulated.

“If they don’t like a company in Missouri (actual complaints were about a breeder in Montana) that raises dogs for profit, why aren’t they in Missouri protesting,?” Kern asked.

Felien said that the city should not be favoring animal nonprofit groups over for-profit pet retailers.

He said the proposed wording of the ordinance amendment was emotional and not enforceable.

He added animal rescue groups also sell dogs brought in from outside the city.

“It didn’t seem to be an area in need of more regulations,” Felien said.

“We shouldn’t be telling people where to buy a dog.”

Felien said local protesters should direct their efforts towards improving USDA regulations.

“It’s a positive purpose, but they don’t need to close stores,” Felien said.

Corso, who is president of Alliance of Citizens To Improve Oceanside Neighborhoods and helped successfully defeat mobile home park rent decontrol touted by Kern and Felien in 2012, said an impact could be made at a city level.

“To allow animals to be treated this, we’re promoting this,” Corso said. “There are bans in other cities for the very same reason.”

She added that she does not want to put Salinas out of business, but wants to ensure he is selling healthy pets from humane breeders to Oceanside families.


OsidePride September 19, 2014 at 12:15 am

What part of the fact that this very same store and these sales practices have already been BANNED in OTHER CITIES are you not understanding? The people speaking on these issues at Council meetings have done extensive research and provide documentation and evidence of fines issued to this particular breeder. Hunte was fined for having over 1,000 lbs. of dead animals on its property! Does that sound like a “reputable breeder” to you? Do your own research on Hunte Corporation and bans of these businesses in San Diego, Los Angeles, etc. And while you’re at it, you can check the City website for the 460 Forms for Mr. Kern to see the campaign donations he received from Hunte and the store owner. And Kathryn, come out to the store and see the truck deliveries for yourself. Those videos are taken at the scene here in Oceanside.

OceansidePrideWrong September 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Facts? you want Facts? do you know what facts are? How does the Humane Society transfer dogs? Have you been there when they get shipped in? They do it the same way. Oh yes my dear they are shipped in, not all of those dogs are local.

SHOCKED??? yeah I doubt it. Again another Hypocrisy by Osidepride.

Charlotte September 14, 2014 at 8:32 pm

“The ordinance amendment proposed last September by Councilwoman Esther Sanchez asked that city dog sales be limited to canines obtained through the humane society, a nonprofit animal rescue organization or an Oceanside breeder.” Councilwoman Sanchez needs to study up on this issue. Dictating to businesses where they must obtain their merchandise is not OK. To require a legal, regulated business to sell animals from unknown sources, unknown health and vaccination record, with no known history – especially a behavior history – is wrong on many levels. There are dozens of major concerns about how this will work, but the biggest problem is liability. Recently a non-profit rescue group brought a dog to a Petsmart store to sell, and the tragedy that followed was shocking, but quite predictable, sadly. A dog was killed after attacking a smaller dog belonging to a customer, and that little dog barely survived, leaving the owner with enormous vet bills. The small dog’s owner had to stab the attacking “shelter” dog with a pocket knife to get it off his dog. That dog had to be euthanized, and both the customer and his little dog were traumatized, as was the store staff and witnesses and the young woman who brought a dangerous dog with a previous bite/attack history to sell at the store – because “all he needs is love”. Just because a group is a non-profit, and calls itself a rescue, shelter or “humane society” doesn’t mean that it is responsible. In fact, people who bring shelter dogs to pet stores should be SERIOUSLY knowledgeable and experienced in dog behavior and training – and I don’t think most will qualify, from my experience. Here are some points to think about:
Here are just some of the real concerns with this plan:
1. Who chooses which dogs go to the shops – the shelters or the shop owners?
2. The appealing dogs in shelters will be placed as always from the shelter. The dogs in danger of
being put down are the ones with age, health, or behavioral issues. It is unlikely that they will fare
any better in a pet shop than they did in a shelter.
3. Is the City Council aware that probably 75% of the LA City shelter animals are pit bulls or
Chihuahuas? Not every potential dog owner wants a pit or Chihuahua type of dog.
4. Do pet shops have employees savvy enough to manage adults dogs with issues?
5. What happens to the dog if it languishes in the shop for weeks or months?
6. Who’s insurance will pay out if an adult dog reacts inappropriately because of stress?
7. What sort of monetary plan is there? Do the shops “buy” from the shelter and then add sufficient
amounts to cover their anticipated expenses of food, grooming, extra employees to manage the
necessary training and exercise needed to make the adult dogs “saleable”??
8. What happens to the dog if the buyer returns it? Is the shop stuck with a dog that ate the couch or
will the dog go back to the shelter?

Elizabeth September 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Puppy Mills

1) In our modern day of instant access to information it is almost impossible for anyone to raise dogs without being under scrutiny. Those horrendous photos you see in commercials for the “Humane Society” are mostly outdated or a 1 in one million exception to the care given animals by breeders everywhere. The photos are intended to shock and horrify you into giving money. Any photo can be photo shopped into looking really bad. Be skeptical. If you didn’t see it with your own eyes take it with a grain of salt.
2) All the hobby breeders in this country cannot produce enough puppies to meet the demands of the American market. Recent changes in laws are NOT stopping substandard kennels from continuing. It is closing down reputable breeders who work very hard to produce healthy purebred puppies by making it more difficult and expensive for them to continue in their HOBBY.
3) BREEDERS are NOT responsible for the presence of dogs in shelters. “Producing” dogs due to failure to be a responsible owner and “breeding” dogs are not the same. We have a problem with a lack of responsible ownership, poor shelter management and poor pet distribution. Education is the key to improvement in this area.
4) It has been PROVEN there is NO PET OVERPOPULATION. Since 2005 the birthrate for puppies has not been meeting the demand. Many rare breeds are declining to the point of extinction due to anti-breeder laws. According to the USDA more than 300,000 dogs were imported in 2013 from foreign countries by SHELTERS. If the current rate of laws and decline continue within 20 years your only source for a puppy may be a shelter “mutt” from Mexico, China or Puerto Rico with possible behavioral issues and NO health testing.
5) There is no such thing as a “puppy mill”. “Puppy mill” is not a legally defined term, it is slang invented by the “animal rights” extremists to denigrate any and all breeders — small or large, standard or substandard. It’s the “N-word” of breeders. The phrase “puppy mill” has been promoted in the media by the animal “rights” movement, people who want to end all animal ownership. It is applied indiscriminately by these fanatics to anyone who breeds dogs.
6) There are three main types of breeders: Commercial, Pet and Hobby/show breeders. Every one of these can be a large-scale breeder, every one of these could be a substandard breeder. Commercial kennels are subject to state and/or federal oversight. Substandard care can be found with all types of breeders. It is about the standard of care, NOT the numbers. Most commercial breeders have state of the art kennels that meet USDA standards and the standards of their state laws. They are inspected at least yearly and must meet or exceed stringent standards far higher than those expected of the average hobby breeder.
7) “Sick” puppies do not sell. It is counterproductive for any industry to produce a defective product and expect to stay in business. Any dog can have health issues. It’s about Mother Nature NOT lack of care or numbers.
8) Passing laws intended to outlaw “puppy mills” will not solve any problem. Most substandard breeders are already in violation of existing laws and don’t care. New, stricter laws will only affect those who are already working to follow the laws. The only way to have any effect is to provide the funds and manpower to enforce the laws that are already on the books.
9) A shelter dog is NOT for every family. Shelter dogs come with baggage that can require an EXPERIENCED owner. Shelter dogs have NO health testing and frequently have behavioral issues that take years of training to overcome. Obtaining a dog should be a time for rational decision making–not an excuse for moral preening. If ‘adopting’ a shelter dog makes you feel ‘better about yourself’, you don’t need a dog. You need a therapist.
10) You are more likely to purchase a dog with health or behavioral issues from a shelter than a pet store.

For more information:

Animal Lover September 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

When Ms. Corso and the others proposing a ban on the sale of dogs from commercial USDA inspected kennels are ALSO going to propose that ALL dogs, from any source, including the humane society or rescues or animal control, will be vetted AND warrantied against health issues, exactly the same as required for dogs from commercial breeders, then one might consider supporting their proposals. Until then the facts are that dogs from rescues, shelters, and the humane societies are NOT vetted or warrantied at all. There is no recourse for a new dog owner IF they purchase a “retail rescue” dog that has health issues or serious behavior issues! Now, let’s get real here and protect the interests of the citizens, not just the agenda of the animal rights followers.

OsidePride September 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

To Carole: Your writings are typical of the reasons Oceanside is stuck with its current City Council. If you want to know the actual FACTS about issues, I would urge you to get OFF your computer and ATTEND Council meetings where videos of the deliveries of these puppies (pushed through a hole in a truck door) AND of the horrific conditions at Hunte Corp. (1,000 lbs. of dead animals on their property!), fines, documents, campaign donations to Kern are shown to the Council and the VOTING PUBLIC, not to mention documentation and evidence provided directly to Kern & Felien at their Council offices. You could at least WATCH the Council meetings on KOCT and SEE FOR YOURSELF the evidence presented before engaging in rhetoric on a subject you’re uninformed about. “A little rust?!” “Cobwebs?!” The video evidence is HORRIFIC!! What part of the phrase “these practices and THIS STORE are BANNED” in other cities, including San Diego are you not understanding? ELECT a Candidate who does her own research of issues & LISTENS to her constituents! We don’t see any other Council members or candidates out there fighting for Oceanside voters on ANY issue! CORSO FOR COUNCIL. DUMP KERN & FELIEN IN 2014.

Kathryn September 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Great right on posts by Charlotte, Elizabeth and Animal Lover. OsidePride, I hope you will open your eyes and realize that AR produced horror videos are not likely the truth.

Carole September 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

Kern and Felien are so right. Corso needs to educate herself on the animal rights anti-dog message. What are the USDA infractions mentioned? A cobweb or a little rust on wire? These large commercial kennels are regulated and inspected and if there was a real problem or glaring infraction the USDA would take their license away. Pet Stores have every right to sell puppies they get from legal regulated kennels. The people have every right to a choice of what kind of dog they want and where they get that dog. Commercial kennels are needed to supply the demand. It is a myth that all commercial kennels put profit over the care of their dogs. ARs act like making a profit is a crime. Who would jeopardize their business by not offering quality? Commercial kennel’s dogs have very little to nothing to do with dogs in shelters. These radicals against planned dog breeding are only enabling the truly bad actors, the irresponsible dog owners that let their dogs loose and multiply knowing that they can always dump them at a shelter.

these cats are funny September 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Huge issues below. I will be quite thankful to talk to your article. Thanks a lot and i’m having a look in advance to touch anyone. Are you going to generously decline me a mailbox?

Pamela Beck September 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Many blessings to all who work to make animals’ lives better. We are their only voice. So I am using my voice to post this repeatedly, until it somehow falls into the hands of someone who has the authority and the courage to help us put an end to puppy and kitten mills.


We will euthanize thousands of pets today at our animal shelters and city Animal Care & Control facilities. We will euthanize thousands of pets tomorrow too, and most every day. Unless our lawmakers enact regulations on the production of puppy and kitten mills, this pet overpopulation crisis is doomed to increase. This is costing our government millions of dollars, which are OUR TAX DOLLARS! And they are being spent to KILL PETS that the PUPPY MILLS ARE PRODUCING. Now What’s wrong with this picture? The USDA has NEGLECTED to regulate this mill production, to the point that we are glutting our own systems. Our government must know that this can not continue, and We The People must demand that our lawmakers vote to STOP THIS MADNESS!

I will never understand how the USDA has any business having pets under the same regulations, (or lack thereof), as poultry, slaughter hogs and beef cattle producers…WE DO NOT EAT DOGS AND CATS IN THIS COUNTRY, they are our pets! Our government must stop allowing them to be mass produced like they were food animals! And the conditions that we accept as “USDA approved” for these animals to live in, consist of a lifetime of horrific neglect and deprivation! These pets don’t even get to go to slaughter when they are old enough and fattened up. They live their entire lives in a cage, often left out in all kinds of weather, with little or no veterinary care. The female’s’ life is spent carrying, nursing, or grieving her lost babies, until she is bred yet again. Then about twice a year, the male shares her cage until mating is complete. Then he is returned to languish in his own filthy cage until it is time to breed again. This only ends for them when they die, or become “no longer good for breeding”. I don’t know what, if any regulation exists for their “disposal”. But the number of dead animal carcasses that are found on the property of too many of these mills, speaks volumes.

Unfortunately, the financial influence of the Agriculture business has managed to supersede the horrific conditions of the animals, the pet overpopulation crisis, even the glutting of our own systems! IF YOU SHOP AT A PET STORE THAT SELLS PETS, YOU ARE SUPPORTING THIS HORRIFIC CRUELTY!

I guarantee you, if the beef producers were churning out millions of pounds of beef in a year, and we only ate half of it, and the other half had to be “disposed of” at great expense to the government, you can bet the USDA would be slapping some major restrictions on beef production. So why don’t they see that we are euthanizing millions of pets a year, and the puppy and kitten mills are “producing” a majority of them?



Carole September 14, 2014 at 9:32 am

@Pamela Beck. I couldn’t read all your post because I’ve heard the lies and myths you wrote in the first couple of paragraphs regurgitated before. Nothing original and very out dated info that has been debunked by facts. You are the reason shelter dogs are killed because you enable the bad actors. Bad owners that have unplanned owners are the problem…..NOT breeders as a whole of any kind.

OsidePride September 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

What this article does NOT say is that Oceanside Puppy (formerly San Diego Puppy) had already been BANNED for their practices in San Diego and other cities, many of whom already have laws banning sales of puppies obtained through these inhumane practices. Efforts to work with the store owner to obtain healthy animals from reputable breeders have fallen on deaf ears. Not to mention the campaign donations to Mr. Kern directly from Mr. Salinas and the Hunte Corporation. Young military families are paying premium prices for these puppies, only to incur huge vet bills for these animals. It’s not the business, it’s the out-of-state SOURCE of these poor animals. This could be resolved, but once again this Council puts special interest campaign donors ahead of the interests of Oceanside’s own residents! DUMP KERN & FELIEN IN 2014! CORSO FOR COUNCIL! At least she stands up for what Oceanside’s citizens!

Carole September 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

You make alot of claims ‘ inhumane practices’ ‘only to incur huge vet bills for these animals’. Just because you say it does not make it true. Can you back up your words? I am not talking about a case of a sick puppy. I am talking about data that shows a big problem with sickly dogs from pet stores. I am not talking about minor infractions like a cobweb but real problems with humane treatment.

Jenn Taylor September 12, 2014 at 10:33 am

It is too bad that certain city council members are choosing to ignore the issue, when other cities have banned selling puppies that come from these terrible conditions. The Oceanside Mayor is even on board with creating a ban, so what could the problem be here? I am sure if the “animal rights extremists” (the protestors- which apparently now includes Dana Corso) could travel back and forth from the Midwest to protest at the hundreds of puppy mills each week, they would. I doubt there are many people willing to do that and the statements made by Kern and Felien are ignorant. I am certain that those same council members received campaign donations from both the Hunte Corporation, ( a known puppy mill broker who was cited for having over 1000 pounds of dead animals on their premises), and the Oceanside Puppy owner who gets puppies delivered out of a Hunte Corp semi truck every week. The Oceanside City Council needs to have a little more compassion which is why my votes will go to Corso and Lowery!

Comments are closed.