ESCONDIDO – San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement issued citations to pet stores in Escondido and Santee on Saturday for illegally selling puppies that were sourced from puppy mills.
Broadway Puppies in Escondido and Pups & Pets in Santee were both cited for violations of failing to partner with a rescue that has a valid cooperative agreement with at least one public or private shelter, as cited in Health and Safety Code, section 122354.5 of AB 485, which is California’s ban on the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.
Broadway Puppies received eight violations, while Pups & Pets was cited for seven violations, plus an additional citation for a violation of signage requirements.
The stores were also issued a Notice of Complaint for selling puppies that were unaltered.
Both Broadway Puppies and Pups & Pets were ordered to suspend all sales of pets until they start sourcing animals from a California shelter or rescue group with a valid cooperative agreement.
“Under the current law, we unfortunately don’t have the ability to shut the stores down,” Ganley said. “However, we’ll continue to cite them for every single dog that they sell without a valid cooperative agreement because they’re in violation of the law, and it’s our duty to take action.”
In the meantime, Humane Law Enforcement Chief Bill Ganley told The Coast News that, based on their history, it appears that both stores will continue to sell puppies illegally.
“If the fines are $500 but you’re selling these dogs for anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000, it’s really not a disincentive to make the sale. I’m sure they’re looking at it as the cost of doing business,” Ganley said.
Humane Law Enforcement is currently backing a new proposed law, AB 2152, in an effort to close these loopholes. One of the provisions of the proposed law would be to limit the sale price of these animals to $500, effectively stopping puppy mills from even sending animals to California because they wouldn’t make any money.
The owner of both of these pet stores, and several more around the country, is David Salinas, who is being sued for violating California law by Attorney Bryan Pease who is representing Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), an animal rights group.
In March, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the lawsuit, which claims that Salinas’ pet shops violate California’s ban on puppy mills by getting dogs from a Missouri-based breeder that “fraudulently holds itself out as a ‘rescue’ organization to launder puppies from puppy mills to pets stores including… Broadway Puppies, Pups & Pets, and other stores owned by Salinas.”
CAPS told The Coast News that there are several lawsuits that are still ongoing, and more planned.