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Oceanside Puppy owner David Salinas, center, said he would pursue legal action against the city. An Oceanside ordinance will close Oceanside Puppy unless the owner complies. File photo by Promise Yee
Oceanside Puppy owner David Salinas, center, said he would pursue legal action against the city. An Oceanside ordinance will close Oceanside Puppy unless the owner complies. File photo by Promise Yee
Community Community News Oceanside

Oceanside moves forward with puppy mill ordinance

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside City Council approved the introduction of an ordinance to regulate the sale of dogs and cats in a 3-2 vote Jan. 7.

Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said the intention of the ordinance is to prevent animal cruelty and discourage puppy mill mass breeding practices by restricting city dog and cat sales.

The ordinance spells out only dogs and cats obtained from an animal shelter, humane society, animal rescue organization or small-scale noncommercial breeder can be sold.

The City Council has looked at the puppy mill issue since Oceanside Puppy on Oceanside Boulevard opened over a year ago. The pet shop buys dogs from a wholesale national distributor who buys from mass breeders.

There have been protesters outside the store since it opened.

Its owner David Salinas previously ran a pet store in San Diego until a similar ordinance was passed there.

Oceanside City Council did not garner enough support to pass an ordinance in September 2013. Discussion began again in December 2014 after Councilman Chuck Lowery was elected.

The ordinance introduced Jan. 7 allows Salinas six months to comply.

Salinas objected to the ordinance saying he buys from a distributor who purchases from licensed breeders who are highly regulated.

“We’re a legitimate company doing legitimate business,” Salinas said. “We have thousands of happy customers. We’re doing a great job.”

Following the vote Salinas vowed to stay open and said he would pursue necessary legal action against the city.

“I’m not going to just lay down and do nothing, it’s not fair to the public,” Salinas said. “Absolutely we’re going to stay in operation.”

Councilmen Jerry Kern and Jack Feller voted against the ordinance. Kern said government should not interfere with business operations. A belief he shared in earlier City Council discussions.

“I don’t think we should be doing this,” Kern said. “It’s not up to us to tell someone how to run their business.”

Several speakers supported Oceanside Puppy, and people’s right to choose where to buy a pet.

Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voiced the opposite view.

“It’s a no brainer,” Wood said. “We’re only trying to do the right thing. My concern is the animals.”

Sanchez said the ordinance is needed to keep city animal service costs in check and prevent animal cruelty.

She said pet store dogs and cats are not spayed or neutered, and sometimes end up a poor fit for the owner, which adds to pet overpopulation and animal control costs.

She also described the confinement and minimum conditions dogs are kept in for mass breeding as inhumane.

Residents and animal protection group representatives, who spoke in support of the ordinance, shared her concerns. Some added that the ordinance falls short in allowing unregulated noncommercial breeders to sell dogs and cats.

Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society, which is contracted to provide city animal control, said the wording that describes noncommercial breed as selling 20 dogs a year provides a loophole that could be taken advantage of.

City Attorney John Mullen said the city would review the inclusion of pet sales by noncommercial breeders before the final vote on the ordinance Jan. 21.


Priscilla February 11, 2015 at 1:04 pm

This is all part of the Animal rightist movement to eliminate completely the breeding of purebred dogs and cats. Shame on Oceanside for falling for this anti-breeder ploy.

Promise Yee January 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

Final vote on city pet sales regulations this Wed.

Jefferson January 19, 2015 at 11:13 am

What a terrible Mayor you have in Oceanside, I hope this Pet Store owner sues your pants off. The idea that any govt thinks it can dictate who or what a company buys for inventory is a direct violation of the rights we all are guaranteed by the Constitution. In fairness you knuckleheads now must decided what products are to be allowed to be purchased by all business in the city. The mis information you have based your idea on is false, no one can sell an animal to a pet store unless it is a USDA licensed facility, so the law itself is in conflict with federal law to start with. I think you fellas need to re think this flash of brilliance you just did and cancel this new thing quickly.

Melinda Vasquez January 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

Thank you to the Oceanside City Council for protecting our 4-legged friends from inhumane breeding conditions. Keep up the good government work of protecting those of us who can’t protect ourselves.

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