One California city is taking an unusual step to help the fight against puppy mills, banning the retail sale of dogs and cats within South Lake Taohe city limits.  In December the City Council asked an attorney to draft the ordinance and last week the Planning Commission voted 4-1 in favor.  Only Gerri Grego voted against it.

Now with the approval of the Planning Commission in the bag, the ordinance could go to the City Council for a vote as early as tomorrow, March 17.

Grego said she doesn’t condone puppy mills, but was concerned about penalizing a business without any proof that the dogs came from puppy mills. Instead, she suggested an ordinance with an expensive penalty if a business was caught selling puppy mill pets.

Commission member Bill Ottman said that would be difficult and time- consuming to control.

City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo said the city can’t monitor the sale of animals because that’s the role of El Dorado County Animal Services. It can only determine the zoning and land use for businesses, she added. (Nevada Appeal)

If the ordinance is approved, it would give pet stores that sell cats and dogs two years to phase out that part of their business.

Of course pet stores say they don’t buy from puppy mills but one Councilwoman, Kathay Lovell, who is a dog breeder herself, passed out a code of ethics for breeders and one of the big points for reputable breeders is that they do not sell to pet stores.

The Lake Tahoe Humane Society has been seeing more and more problems and complaints from people who bought puppies from pet stores, seeking help for vet bills because the puppies are sick. This is something too often seen with puppy mill puppies, genetic problems and defects, illnesses and more.

Planning Commission member Mike Berg said, “It’s about what kind of community we want to project ourselves as.”

I’ve said before, I am not against all breeding, but I am fervently against irresponsible breeding; puppy mills, back yard breeders.  Any steps in the direction of curtailing these kinds of breeders is a step in the right direction.  There are so many dog and cats killed every year in shelters, desperate for a home they never find and yet people still plop down hundreds and even thousands of dollars for commercially, mass bred pets that are churned out in the most inhumane conditions.  Pet store owners continue to deny the puppy mill connection even though it has been proven again and again.

The only way to cut out puppy mills is to cut off the money and demand.  I believe education is one of the biggest keys, the more people who realize exactly where these puppies come from and just what puppy mills ares, hopefully the money and demand will lessen more and more every day.  We need to do everything we can to get the word out and educate people.

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