This January, a statewide ban on pet stores selling dogs, cats and rabbits not obtained from a shelter or rescue went into effect, though the city of San Diego had been ahead of the curve, enacting a similar retail ban in 2013. While groups like San Diego Humane Society applauded the ban, a few bad-apple businesses have been skirting the law through agreements with out-of-state, loosely defined “rescue organizations.”
SDHS’s Humane Law Enforcement officers busted three San Diego County pet stores and issued a combined 102 citations over the summer for failing to produce a valid agreement with a public or private shelter, among other violations.
Authorities warn that some of these animals could still be coming from puppy (or kitten) mills. Puppies born to overbred mothers in inhumane conditions often suffer from health problems that could lead to heartbreak down the road.
If you adopt from a pet store, first do a little research on the dog’s origin and make sure the rescue or shelter is legit.
“Buyer beware. Know where your animals are coming from,” says Senior Humane Law Enforcement Officer Kristina Rhoades. “Make sure you do your due diligence when you purchase an animal.”