The ordinance to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in San Diego pet stores was passed by the City Council yesterday! Those of us in the Council meeting room cheered with joy when the unanimous vote came in. We have worked long and hard for this and that includes every one of you receiving this message.
We know what you did. We know how much you cared. We celebrate this victory with YOU! It is because of you that puppy mill pups will no longer be sold in the city of San Diego.
With full hearts we thank you.
For those who couldn't be with us yesterday, we thought you might like to read the presentation, given by Janice Hatch on behalf of the San Diego Animal Defense Team, as part of the working group who gave this the final push. In addition, we had over 15 speakers lined up to weigh in during the public comment section to cover every aspect of the outrage of puppy mills. They spoke with one voice -- the voice of compassion and knowledge. They put it over the top!
The San Diego Animal Defense Team is a grassroots group that has been working exclusively on the local puppy mill problem since 2008. Our focus is the connection between puppy mills and San Diego city and county pet stores. We have held hundreds of educational outreach events and protests at all of the pet stores selling puppies, including Pet Works in Grossmont Center, Pups and Pets in Santee, California Pets in Escondido and Carlsbad, Puparazzi in Mission Valley Shopping Center, Puppy Stars in Clairemont, Naedeen Puppies in Oceanside, Pet Place in Rolando and San Diego Puppy in Grantville.
We documented the puppies in each store. We investigated and researched their breeders. What we found is disturbing.
Every San Diego store that we investigated uses puppy mill breeders. We have been able to identify these breeders through information given to us by people who bought the puppies, which we then tracked through a central data base and USDA reports.
Many of the same mass-producing puppy mills supply all of the San Diego area stores.
(slide) One is the infamous Stonehenge Kennel in West Point, Iowa. 1,118 breeding dogs are trapped in cages in the buildings you see on the aerial view slide.
(slide) Here's what you see when you look inside. They have multiple USDA violations of the most basic kinds of humane care.
In addition to educational outreach and investigations, we sent a letter to each store, offering to help them change to a humane model so they could continue their businesses cruelty-free. I have a copy here if you want one. We don't want the stores to close. We also don't want them to build their business on the backs of suffering animals.
We offered to provide contacts with breed rescues and shelters. We offered to promote the store. We offered to provide additional information about professional and public relations volunteers who would help them promote their new humane model stores at no cost.
We are sorry to report that no one was interested.
It's important that we all keep in mind these are businesses that do not sell products. They sell living, breathing, feeling animals. The animals feel pain and fear and they need the comfort and companionship of humans. We hope you agree with us that San Diego does not want businesses that are fundamentally based on cruelty to animals.
This is a multi-billion $$$ industry, with profits at multiple levels -- the puppy mills to the brokers to the puppy stores. Everyone wins at this money game but the animals. And they lose every time.
This ordinance is about protecting them. Please do the right thing. Vote YES.