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Kahoots, the only pet store in Solana Beach, will have six months to comply with a new law regulating the sale of dogs, cats and bunnies. However, the store didn’t sell dogs or cats and no longer sells rabbits. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek
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Pet store regulations one vote away

SOLANA BEACH  —The city is one vote away from regulating pet sales after council members at the June 22 meeting approved the first reading of a new law that will prohibit pet stores from selling dogs, cats and bunnies that come from large-scale breeding facilities commonly referred to as “puppy mills,” “kitten factories” and “rabbit mills.”

The proposed ordinance, modeled after one recently adopted in San Marcos, will make it illegal for any retail pet store to display, sell, deliver, auction off, give away or transfer dogs, cats or rabbits in the city.

Animal shelters, rescue organizations, animal control agencies and nonprofit humane societies will be exempt.

When council members first discussed a proposed ordinance at the May 25 meeting, the city received more than 30 emails from people supporting such a ban.

At that meeting another half dozen people addressed council urging passage of a new law. There were no comments opposing a ban.

Two people, including Carlsbad City Councilman Keith Blackburn, spoke in support of the ordinance at the June meeting.

Blackburn said he was there to share his experience about the passage of a similar law in his city.

Eleven comments criticizing the ban were posted online in response to a story in The Coast News.

“So, it’s OK to sell animals (of) unknown background, supplied by ‘rescue’ for resale, but not animals with known backgrounds and medical records from licensed, regulated breeders? In whose world does this make any logical sense?” wrote Clu Carradine.

“The scare tactics used by AR agenda folks that are pushing these kinds of legislation are gross misrepresentations,” wrote Julie Ward. “Yes, there was a time when puppies were produced commercially in horrible conditions. There was also a time in the US when children worked in textile mills.

“Thankfully, those conditions have changed,” Ward continued. “USDA licensed breeders are regulated and have strict rules about conditions and care. To see city after city legislate away the freedom of choice as to where and how we obtain our pets saddens me.

If you chose to obtain your next puppy from a shelter or rescue, good for you, but if I prefer to buy a purebred puppy that should be mine choice. I should NOT be dictated by elected officials that are in bed with animal rights fanatics.”

The Solana Beach law will not take effect until it is adopted at a second reading, likely at the July 13 meeting.

But Kahoots, the only pet store in the city, will have six months to comply.

Kahoots didn’t sell cats or dogs and no longer sells rabbits.

The store will continue to host animal adoptions and sell pet supplies and small animals, including birds, hamsters and guinea pigs.