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San Diego Joins LA in Banning Pet Store Sales of Puppies

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San Diego, the self-proclaimed “Pet Friendliest City in America,” has now joined over 30 cities nationwide in banning the sale of puppies at pet stores. In a unanimous vote by the City Council, effective in 30 days, San Diego, California is now the 2nd largest city with this ban in place, following Los Angeles.

It’s a victory for animal activists and dog lovers, as 99% of all pet store puppies come from puppy mills, unsanitary, overcrowded, unsafe breeding factories that care little about the animals in their care, often resulting in poor breed standards, sick or injured dogs, and contribute to the shelter overpopulation problem in this country.

San Diego, and other cities with similar puppy sale bans in place, limit the sale of puppies, kittens, rabbits to only those obtained through a rescue organization or shelter.

The amendment to the municipal code makes it “unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer or sell any live dog, cat or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the city of San Diego, unless the dog, cat or rabbit was obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, a humane society or a nonprofit rescue organization.”

Additionally, pet stores will have to keep certificates that identify the sources of their animals and make them available to animal control officers, law enforcement, code compliance officials or other city employees.

But not everyone is happy about the new law.

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  1. Avatar Of Los Anges City?

    los anges city?


    are we talking about Los Angeles county? or Los Angeles city? does any body know?

  2. Avatar Of Eilyn



    Beautiful! Kudos to you the San Diego Animal Defense Team & all that worked together to make this happen. I want Miami to do the same. I hope to read more about this in the hopes we can adopt the same ban.

  3. As one of the animal welfare groups that worked together to bring this to the City Council, we can say that the puppy store San Diego Puppy sells puppy mills dogs and we have proof and documentation. His pups are trucked in from Goodman Missouri by the Hunte Corp. They process 2,000 puppies a week, 90,000 a year for pet stores like this all across the country. We presented a great deal of proven information to the City Council before this ordinance went to a vote. Each puppy store would like to claim that they are one of the few “good apples.” We say good riddance.

  4. Avatar Of Linda Lord

    Linda Lord


    Thank You San Diego County for joining Santa Cruz County in a step to bring down the number of unwanted animals. This has greatly reduced the number of euthanized dogs in Santa Cruz shelters.

  5. Avatar Of Lisa



    I disagree there are no reputable breeders. There are. And they have high standards on breeding and ownership. What most people don’t realize is you don’t really need a breeder for a family pet. If you want to show a dog or some rare breed that is hard to find then go to a breeder but a pure bred family pet can be easily obtained from a shelter or a breed specific rescue. I purchased one of my 4 dogs from a breeder in Nebraska. The other 3 are rescues. But I wanted a specific breed (Havanese) that is very rare and hard to obtain. I researched my breeder and discovered they had received the Nebraska Breeders Association award a few years before and the only dogs they breed are Havanese. So they ARE reputable being they only have a few litters per year and they aren’t breeding 15 kinds of dogs. But again, this is a very rare occurrence. I know for a fact my breeder would never sell her puppies to a pet store. We also had to go through an extensive vetting process before we were approved to adopt. This pet store owner can say whatever but the facts speak for themselves. The majority of pet store pups DO come from puppy mills and backyard breeders and it needs to stop. I’m all for supporting small business but not at the expense of thousands of euthanasias a day.

  6. Avatar Of Sissy



    There is no such thing as a reputable breeder.

    • Avatar Of Lindsey



      Sissy –

      I am wondering what your take is on this? Have you had a bad experience? How or why can you say there are no reputable breeders? That is a heavy statement to be making, there are tons of reputable breeders, but you need to do your research, know how to find them and what to look for.

    • Avatar Of Beverly Williams

      Beverly Williams


      I do believe that there can be reputable breeders because (back in the 60’s) I purchased a puppy, on two different occasions, from the same private owner of a registered female beagle who chose to breed her dog with another registered beagle who was actually a champion show dog. The combination of the two produced some of the best natured, most beautiful puppies that I have ever seen. However, of the 7 beagles that I have owned, the rest have been adopted from shelters. We currently have two that we traveled to Virginia to adopt from a shelter. We will now only have rescued animals.

    • Avatar Of Karen



      I said it before and I’ll say it again………….”In my world, a ‘responsible breeder’ is the same as a ‘responsible drug-dealer”

  7. This is good news but what about online sales? No reputable breeder would be shipping puppies to people they’ve never met. No responsible person would want to buy a puppy without seeing the puppy, its mother and the living conditions. We need to close the loophole allowing online sales.

  8. Avatar Of Kathryn S.

    Kathryn S.


    No reputable breeder would allow their puppies to be sold in a pet store. The operative word here is REPUTABLE. All puppy mills and “backyard breeders” should be shut down as soon as possible, and good for San Diego in adopting this policy. DON’T SHOP – ADOPT!

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