San Diego City Council voted unanimously to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores throughout the city on Tuesday.
Local animal welfare groups partnered with Council Member Lori Zapf for the ordinance that bans the commercial sale of specific animals in San Diego.
The measure requires pet retailers to get their puppies, kittens and rabbits from city or county animal shelters, human societies and nonprofit rescue groups. The ban goes into effect in 30 days.
It was a packed house at the council meeting — and when the decision was reached there was a lot of applause from the crowd, and disappointment too.
Retailers said it would only penalize well-run, regulated shops that sell properly registered animals, and end up benefiting those on the black market.
"This has got to stop. This movement of accusing every single breeder having pet stores as puppy mills is absolutely ridiculous," said David Salinas of San Diego Puppy Inc.
But residents concerned about so called puppy mills that they say simply mass produce animals --- and use them as a money making commodity.
"These animals live their entire lives in small cages. They never touch the ground, they never have a name never have a toy," said Sydney Cicourel of the Companion Animal Protection Society.
Similar measures have been adopted in Los Angeles and a number of other Southern California cities including Chula Vista, and across the country.