A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Feb 2, 2010

How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?

The city of West Hollywood California is on the verge of banning dogs and cats from pet stores unless they come from shelters.
Imagine if this were done nationally. Shelters would have more outlets to place animals which would free up shelter space to allow more time to find homes for its residents. Potential parents would have more convenient locations to seek a new family member. Pet shops would have no reason to order pets from puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders. Consequently, pet overpopulation with its attending euthanasia rate could become a thing of the past. The message we could teach our children is that pets have value, they are neither Doritos ("we can always make more") nor are they disposable commodities with licenses to waste and to trash. Couple this notion with the idea of moving the supply of specific shelter animals to where they are in demand as demonstrated by the chihuahua air lifts - and voila - we put puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders out of business. There is no down side. Let's make it so!


  1. Wow, this is so wonderful! I really hope this opens many eyes, thanks for keeping up updated!

  2. It's one thing for West Hollywood or South Lake Tahoe, each of which has only one pet store, to ban retail sales of pets, but quite another to do it in L.A. or some other big city that has hundreds of such outlets. We'd run the risk of putting stores out of business and, in this economy, that's not a pleasant prospect. Perhaps there are other ways we all can attack the puppy mill issue and pet shop irresponsibility.

    The effort to change the pet shop business model and get them to partner with local public shelters to obtain animals is promising, though it's slow to gain a foothold. We know LA Animal Services is working on it, as are various animal welfare groups. Hopefully SPCA-LA is on the case as well.