Greetings from the San Diego Animal Defense Team (ADT)! You have all done so much to make this a wonderful and successful year on behalf of the animals. Here's a recap of the last year.
Our primary goal since we started six years ago was to ban the sale of puppy mill puppies in San Diego pet stores. It is done! The City Council passed an ordinance banning the sale of dogs (puppies), cats (kittens) and rabbits in San Diego last summer. That made us the second largest city in the nation, right behind Los Angeles, and the 13th in the state. Of course those numbers have drastically changed since then, as more and more cities pass their own bans. (Welcome, Chicago!)
As many of you know, getting our own ban passed was a hard-fought and long-term battle. We endured personal threats, slashed tires on our cars, broken windows at our homes and at least one citizen's arrest of a protester. We wrote and circulated petitions, gathering over 40 pages of single spaced signatures that we hand delivered to the City Council. We wrote and printed a multi-page booklet with important information linking local pet stores to puppy mills. Those were also delivered to each City Council member. We secured over 100 ordinance endorsements from animal-related businesses. We had meeting after meeting with our own working group, City Council members and their staffs as well as the City Attorney 's office, fine-tuning the exact wording for the proposed ordinance.
We continued to hold our Stand for the Ban educational events and protests, until the very last store in the city closed its door and a vacancy sign went up!
We forged a successful working alliance with Dr. Gary Weitzman and Renee Harris of the San Diego Humane Society, Bryan Pease and Kath Rogers of APRL, Elizabeth Oreck of Best Friends, Sidney Cicourel of CAPS and Dawn Danielson and Harold Holmes of the Department of Animal Services to ensure we had a solid circle of support for the ordinance in San Diego.
We created the wonderful "Real Women Against Puppy Mills" video, which continues to be a big hit on You Tube.
We represented Sea Shepherd by organizing a Valentine's Day protest ~ World Love for Dolphins Day ~ on February 14 at the office of the Honorary Japanese Consulate to remind the Japanese government that the Taiji drive hunts dishonor Japan. We also presented the Consulate with a letter explaining why we were protesting outside her office!
We helped to coordinate the San Diego Earthlings March which included protests at Honey Baked Ham, Boston Market, Bank of America, Kohls, McDonalds, and United States Bank.
With only a 24 hour notice, San Diego Animal Defense Team representatives spoke at both Oceanside and Carlsbad City Council meetings in an attempt to stop each community from passing legislation that would grandfather in the puppy mill pet stores Oceanside Puppy and California Pets. Oceanside Puppy is a new store that has been opened by the same owner as the now closed store, San Diego Puppy. California Puppy has stores in Carlsbad and Escondido.We also met privately with Carlsbad Council members Keith Blackburn and Lorraine Wood. The third member of the Council, Farrah Douglas, refused to meet with us or review our evidence and amazingly became the swing vote to keep the entire ordinance out. We believe that City Council members have been purposely mislead by the owners and employees of the stores and unfortunately the City Council members have believed them.. It is our hope that the next time, members of the two City Councils will actually demand proof of the statements from the stores and allow animal advocates equal time to show proof of their evidence. For example, Oceanside Puppy insists they are not selling puppy mill puppies at the same time that we are able to expose their subpar and inhumane breeders. The California Pets store convinced the Carlsbad City Council that they do not buy from the Hunte Corp. and that very day, our review of some of their paperwork inside the store showed Hunte as their broker. We were called in just before the votes in these communities -- too late to affect the outcome or stop the votes from happening. It is imperative that communities do all the groundwork before they approach any City Councils.
We have continued researching specific breeders and brokers for California Pets and Oceanside Puppy. We have visited the stores. We have documented the brokers and the breeders. We will continue to do so.
At PETA's request, one of our organizers spoke on behalf of PETA at the recent San Diego City Council hearing on the Dec. - May seal barrier.
We are now concentrating on the possibility of County or State legislation to stop the sale of puppies in California pet stores. There is still much to do and we hope you will join us.
In solidarity. For the animals.
San Diego Animal Defense