A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Feb 11, 2016

The Animal Three Card Monte Game Continues With "Pet Shops"

Once again the Los Angeles City Council Personnel and Animal Welfare committee, chaired by Paul Koretz is doing something that will ultimately be detrimental to Los Angeles pets. 

Now, they want to change the definition of "kennel" in the zoning code to exclude pet shops thereby obviating the need for a kennel permit and allowing these "pet shops" to be in commercial zones. 

Though seemingly innocuous on its face, it is not, and here's why. A pet shop is subject to the California Health and Safety Code pet shop provisions among other things, even if they sell shelter pets. That would also be true of an animal rescue group that is not a 501(c)(3).  An animal rescue group that is a 501(c)(3) and operates a pet shop would be exempt from that statute, but typically, would have enough animals in said space to qualify as a kennel - thereby requiring a permit and be subject to inspection. The scary part under the proposed change, is that rescues can call their kennels "pet shops", warehouse animals all over town, and voila- no Health and Safety, no kennel permit required, and no inspections mandated! No scrutiny at all. There are already existing permitted places where you only need to walk nearby to smell the unsanitary conditions to then see depressed pets sitting in their own filth. Imagine no oversite.

Said another way, under this proposed change (to be heard in committee February 16th) those presenting the most danger to the health and welfare of our pets will lose the most routine oversight. I reiterate that I am not talking about the legitimate and wonderful rescue groups that we deal with routinely, and, of course, criminal charges will lie if applicable, but Councilman Koretz and his committee are offering a free pass to abuse and neglect animals on a large scale.

I can only theorize why he is selling this to us. In conjunction with Mayor Eric Garcetti and the commission that oversees the city's animal services department, they have figured out another way to move animals out of the shelters, off their books, and into the shadows to create an impression that they have a successful live release rate. Again, they are moving the queen around in their endless game of Three Card Monte. If they would only use their skills to figure out how to honestly place pets into loving homes instead of creating the illusion of placement, there would be far less suffering for our pets.

It is again the case where the emperor has no clothes, but this time, they are trying to sell us the clothes they don't have.

Let's say no to this.

The Committee:

Paul Koretz -- paul.koretz@lacity.org

David E. Ryu -- david.ryu@lacity.org

Marqueece Harris-Dawson -- councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org

1 comment:

  1. How about passing a mandatory spay & neuter law? It absolutely enrages me when cities lower their budgets by cutting money to animal services and thereby causing more animals to suffer.