Best Friends Blog

Tick tock … time running out for California stores selling puppy mill animals

One after the other, Los Angeles, Orange County and other California communities are banning the sale of puppy mill animals through retail outlets. First it was South Lake Tahoe, then West Hollywood, followed by Hermosa Beach, Glendale, Irvine, Dana Point, and Chula Vista.

Altogether, 19 communities, large and small, have banned the sale of puppy mill animals, and several have ordinances in motion. The latest is Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country. The initiative to ban puppy mill sales in L.A. has been led by Council Member Paul Koretz. The Los Angeles City Council Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee just approved his motion to draft the ordinance prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. Once the full council approves the motion, Council Member Koretz and his advisers will draft the ordinance. That meeting should take place within the next few weeks. We will keep you posted.

There is a monumental shift in thinking taking place in our country around puppy mills and the retail pet stores that sell them. Fellow animal advocates, we are winning this war. Ending the sale of puppy mill animals will be one of the greatest victories of our time.


Julie Castle

Senior Director, Communications

  • Fruitone

    Holy freakin’ awesome!  I have been waiting for this day and am so thrilled!  Mankind is making progress.  Animals are a gift for humans to evolve spiritually.  They are a true blessing.  I hold the vision that one day soon all animals will come from healthy places, puppy mills will be a thing of the past, and there will fewer and fewer homeless pets, and they will all have happy homes.  Animals are gaining the high esteem and respect they have so long deserved.  

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness awareness is slowly making its way though out the population.

  • LH

    High time!!! I don’t understand why these puppy mills have not been outlawed on a national level. It’s disgusting how these dogs are treated. Congrats, California, for a great start in ending this travesty. Let’s hope other states follow suit soon.

  • Pabs444

    The biggest support we could get is from AKC.  They’re the ones that issue the papers on all the puppies registered. They can’t visit every breeder and if  this becomes law, then they’ll just go underground.  It starts and ends with AKC.

  • Pabs444

    The biggest support we could get is from AKC.  They’re the ones that issue the papers on all the puppies registered. They can’t visit every breeder and if  this becomes law, then they’ll just go underground.  It starts and ends with AKC.

    • Dmoya

      @Pabs444 never gonna happen.  the akc gets money from all these puppy mills for purebred registration….too bad

    • Anonymous

      Ha  too bad we can’t shut down the AKC period!! 🙂 Look at the damage they have done to “their” dogs. Most German Shepherds can’t stand upright!

    • Anonymous

      Ha  too bad we can’t shut down the AKC period!! 🙂 Look at the damage they have done to “their” dogs. Most German Shepherds can’t stand upright!

  • Angelle

    HOORAY!!!!  Lets keep up the good fight

  • Mosley500

    I am thrilled. This is such good news. It has been a long, hard fight but well worth it. Thank you Best Friends for all your work and dedication to seeing that this has been accomplished.

  • Judyjdiart  this thrilling, it has been my number campaign to end puppy mills

  • Redone

    But what happens to the puppies currently at these stores?

    • Elizabeth O

      The ordinances generally allow existing pet stores a one-year period to sell off their inventory and transition to an adoption model, if they choose to do so.

    • Elizabeth O

      The ordinances generally allow existing pet stores a one-year period to sell off their inventory and transition to an adoption model, if they choose to do so.

  • HH

    The just closed a national  puppy store here in Georgetown, TX…. spreading the word is working!

  • 1barneys69

    Something like that happen in Arizona. Fat chance! The right wing agenda is fueled by retired people who don’t want to give up an iota to correct a wrong, especially if it is going to cost them anything.If you need help in AZ getting rid of puppy mills, I’m on board and ready to help out. One man in our neighborhood either fosters or has adopted several Greyhounds. What a picture watching them all walk, one with only 3 legs. Breaks your heat and makes you feel good at the same time. 

    • SA

      If you’re in Tucson I can hook you up with a couple of groups here who are very active in protests and traveling to Phoenix to protests and help with getting new bills introduced.  Let me know if you want me to pass on some contact info for you.

  • Jane Wanberg

    What would happen to all of the dogs and puppies that are now in these Puppy Mills if they’re all shut down?  Where would all of them go?  Would there be a place for them to go until they’re able to find a home?

    • Elizabeth O

      These ordinances are not designed to shut down puppy mills, but to restrict the sale of those puppies in pet stores.  By limiting the market for those puppies, there becomes less of a need to manufacture them in substandard, high-volume facilities, as well as more opportunity for shelter animals to be seen in retail venues. Fortunately, as a result of the increased public awareness and the passage of legislation that makes it more difficult to operate a puppy mill, mills have been shutting down at a consistent rate over the past few years.  In those cases, the dogs are often handed over to rescue organizations like Best Friends, where both temporary placement and permanent homes can be found for them. Because the process of mills closing down is gradual, we have not been faced with an enormous number of animals needing placement at one time, so we (and other groups) are able to take them in and give them the second chances they deserve.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely good news.  If we don’t get the reckless and irresponsible breeding down on dogs and cats the cycle of suffering will continue for them.  There is nothing wrong with breeding dogs and cats to a certain degree but there are still way too many who are being dumped at shelters and the rescues cannot keep up with the ones that aren’t adopted outright from the shelter.  We are going in the right direction but I would imagine educating the kids about the consequences of backyard and reckless breeding of dogs and cats and that many end up languishing in shelters or die because there aren’t enough people to adopt.  Any animal deserves better than to languish in a shelter or die because the demand is less than the supply.  So many great animals dying because of the reckless and stupid things people do.  Also educating kids about what it means to commit to an animal for its lifetime through thick and thin.  I know there are some situations where people have no choice but those situations still should be rare.  I know things are going in the right direction step by step but for the animals that fall through the cracks now and suffer and die I wish it would happen sooner.

  • kim

    good news,shut them all down!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      YES YES YES!

  • Rbester

    This is a great end for something that has gone on for years! It breaks my heart to see how they use,abuse & disregard these Voiceless  animals…..  So many people are   completely in the dark about! this issue! I have been an animal lover all my life, and just like many other’s never knew the difference between a breeder & a Puppy Mill. I think back and all i remember was oh isn’t it cute, and the right price. Never once did i see the parent’s of the puppy, and the list goes on. So a few years later,a lot smarter , i tell as many people to do there homework when they are thinking about adding an animal to the family!  Great Life Lesson…..

  • Morningstar31

    We also need to go after backyard breeders. We need to pass laws that require all pets be spayed and neutered. If not, the owners are fined. That fine will help run the shelters that take in all the homeless animals.

    • Anonymous

      I always worry when the term is “Backyard Breeder” BECAUSE…. not all B.Y.B. are bad. I was one for a time considering how I raised my dogs. I bred and showed Jack Russell Terriers. I only had one male and two females which I certainly did not breed all the time. I bred to bitches if they were consistent to our breed standard. Puppies were all raised in the house. I didn’t WANT a big kennel. I wanted my dogs to be family not kenneled in runs etc. I followed the JRCTA Rules. I eventually quit breeding because making sure ALL my puppies got good homes was HARD! And occasionally  having to take one back for whatever reason could be tricky but thats what you do…. if you created the dog in the first place. SO , one needs to pay attention to any breeder you buy from. Do your homework. Thats why I don’t like the term. Its very derogatory but sadly it can fit.

      • guest

        I think you are missing the point of the argument against Back Yard Breeders… they do not follow rules, guidelines, proper breeding standards, etc.  You followed the rules of the JRCTA, and looked for good homes for your dogs.  I assume this meant that you interviewed and screened all homes, did proper vetting of each dog including your breeding male and females, and registered each puppy with the AKC. Typically BYB do not do some or all of these things. Most importantly, I think, is that a lot of BYB will sell their puppies to anyone without following proper breeding standards.  I understand that it is a “buyer beware” world out there, but I do not agree that we should, as a society, take that approach when it is at the cost of living beings.

        • Anonymous

          No I do understand, but  you often find the same problems with registered breeders. I guess what I am saying is you really need to  know who your buying from, but even that can be tricky. Plus most people are SO uneducated they go out and buy from unscrupulous so called breeders. But your right, the odds are not in favor of pups breed in the back yard. I do not register with the AKC , though. Only with  the JRTCA . THEY have problems with some breeders too…. it is a hard thing to police. sigh I am just not fond of the term.  I guess I want to tell folks “Don’t buy from a BAD breeder”  Gee  and we know how well that works.

        • Bard1948

          I bought a dog from a backyard breeder in Mississippi when I lived in Memphis.  She was the only famale left, so I took her.  She had an underbite, but she was the sweetest, smartest little Yorkie-Poo you ever saw.  I thought I was going to die when she passed away at the age og 15, but no one lives forever.   CJ

    • TereBB

       Yes, something should be done about backyard breeders.  Now that regular stores (easier to control) where puppy mill puppies/kittens were sold and now can’t do it anymore, many backyard breeders will probably think they won the lottery.  There is no control at all with them.  They do not care about rules about a breed since they are the ones that crossbreed dogs.  What used to be mutts are now Designer Breeds, like Schnoodle, etc. and those dogs are expensive.  Have not seen a single one for less than $100.  I am willing to bet the number of posts for “rehoming” dogs in craigslist is going to increase.
      These people only care about the money they are going to make, they do not care about the animal or the breed.  Many of the puppies do not even get to see a vet.
      I have one dog (mutt) and four cats.  All of them rescued, have their shots and all are spayed/neutered.  Over the years every dog that we’ve had has been a mutt and we have loved them all.  Every single dog and cat has been spayed/neutered.  Now two cats came from a shelter, the other two, the oldest and the youngest, were found in the streets.  I have a hard time turning away an animal in need.
      I wish every city, every state will ban puppy mills and backyard breeders.  There are just too many unwanted animals.  I am doing my little bit:  adopt dog or cat when possible and when there is room, spay/neuter every single one (young or older), support and donate to animal groups like Best Friends.  I even remember the unwanted and abused in my prayers every night.
      And, if you are reading this, it is because you care about animals.  Good for all of you.  A little step at a time, maybe there will come the day when animals are no longer being abused and used for profit. 

    • Becka

      I agree with this completely. If people wish to breed dogs then they should need a permit to show that they have what it takes to be a good breeder, and otherwise should be fined.

  • Chealy513

    We are working in Ohio to pass the 2012 Citizens-initiated statute banning dog auctions in Ohio.  This is where most of the puppy mill stock is bought and traded.
    We have to work from all angles to get rid of the mills
    .”Every once in awhile, a dog enters your life and changes everything”
    Even though I don’t live in Ca, I’m going to send a thank you to Councilmember Paul Koretz.

  • Elizabeth O

    Hey L.A. animal lovers (particularly residents of Burbank):  Please join us this Tuesday, 3/27, at 6:00pm for the Burbank City Council meeting to introduce our motion for an ordinance banning the retail sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores.  City Hall:  275 East Olive Avenue, 91502.  We are on a major roll and would love to make Burbank #20.  Please spread the word, and thank you!

  • Lovefelines2003

    I meant to say the end of selling puppy mill animals will happen.

  • Lovefelines2003

    Amazing what a group of committed and passionate people can do together if they don’t give up.  I feel positive this change is coming – it took a long time to abolish slavery in the US, and for women to earn the right to vote, to name a few great victories.  Change is slow, but it does happen and I know the selling of puppy mill animals will happen.  We’ve made great progress in the past 30 years on the animal welfare front and will continue to do so! 

  • Coriavery


  • Melissa

    I truly believe this will help pet overpopulation. I have four adopted cats, have volunteered for animal rescue groups and do donate. However, all the small things everybody does to help the pets in these rescues are like bailing a ocean out with a spoon. It really not enough. The overall problem of where all these unwanted animals are coming from needs to be addressed. Someone had posted on my facebook that a petstore near where I used to live is shutting down and a adoption center is going in it’s place. All I can think is, “thanks the lord almighty.”

  • Karen

    And may this continue throughtout all of the United States and the rest of the World.

  • What  a  cutie.  The  dog  I  mean.  lol

  • This is great news…now let’s shut down Barkworks!!!