There is a movement afoot, and it’s changing the way people look at the acquisition of their pets.
By Leslie Phelan
Last week, Los Angeles City Council voted to permanently ban the sale of commercially-bred cats, dogs, and rabbits in all pet stores. It was a huge victory for local animal activists who’d been lobbying for the ban, and an even bigger win for the millions of companion animals that are euthanized each year for lack of people to adopt them, and resources to keep them alive in shelters.
This ban was voted in as a response to market inundation by puppy mills and other backyard operations that have made a business of over-breeding animals for profit. According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide across the US each year, and of those, approximately 2.7 million animals end up being euthanized. A temporary ban was voted in 2013, and just this month as the issue came back up for review, it was decided by City Council that the ban is here to stay. Going forward, individuals may purchase animals from breeders directly, but there will be no more storefront sales – now, pet stores across LA are only permitted to promote and adopt out animals from shelters and registered rescue societies!
Many cities and jurisdictions across Canada and the US have had the jump on enacting a retail pet sale ban before it was even a notion in Los Angeles. Hearing that the famed southern California city is on board with protecting the welfare of companion animals is a huge step forward because of LA’s undeniable influence on the world. It’s not just a huge step forward for animals, their activists, and the pet industry, but also for the human race, as we are arriving at an age where animals are accepted as living beings that deserve respect, and are no longer seen as commodities. It’s a giant leap forward in our own evolution to the point that soon, the idea of animals being sold in stores like toys will sound totally absurd.
So go on, enjoy National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day with all the creatures and people and people-like creatures you love, and if there is room in your home and your heart, consider adopting a shelter pet and making one less animal a sad statistic, and one more animal a happy forever-home success story!