May 1, 2012 UPDATE: Laguna Beach Passes Ordinance
Laguna Beach City Council Members,
The Companion Animal Protection Society (www.caps-web.org) is a national, non-profit organization that exclusively investigates pet factories, puppy mills and pet stores. We have a national record of success exposing commercial breeding operations that violate federal and state laws. Our investigations and direct action campaigns have led to the ordinances that ban the sale of puppy mill dogs and cats you see being passed throughout California. We assisted the cities of West Hollywood and Glendale in the drafting of their ordinances. The Los Angeles ordinance, which is in the works, is based on the evidence from our investigations and our recommendations.
We were appalled to read the letter sent to you by Peter Weinstein, senior director of the SCVMA, who purports to understand anti-puppy mill legislation. We believe his letter breaks his oath to “do no harm.” It is full of false information and we sincerely hope that is unintentional. It is obvious that he knows nothing about the puppy mill business and its sinister relationship with pet retailers. He has evidently never been to a puppy mill and we have been inside thousands of them. We do not believe he speaks for most veterinarians. All the veterinarians we know would like to see an end to puppy mill cruelty and a ban on the sale of puppy mill pets.
Furthermore, and even more shocking to us in the animal protection movement, is that Mr. Weinstein seems to be cravenly protecting his business of selling medical care to the owners of sick puppy mill dogs, and protecting the deceitful business relationships between some veterinarians who enable unscrupulous dog dealers.
CAPS’ investigative evidence is included in several lawsuits being filed on behalf of consumers who have bought sick puppy mill dogs in California pet stores. Some veterinarians who work with these pet stores are in fact co-conspirators in the fraudulent business practice of selling puppy mill animals. They actually profit from treating the illnesses and congenital defects that are diagnosed in puppy mill dogs. CAPS does not profit from investigating and exposing these facts.
We applaud you for considering a ban on the sale of puppy mill animals in your city. We have irrefutable evidence that inhumane breeding factories have been supplying California’s pet stores. Ordinances banning the sale of puppy mill dogs and cats is the way to end puppy mill cruelty.
Anti-puppy mill ordinances in the form of a sales ban, successfully relieve the local municipal shelter system by encouraging pet retailers to “go humane” (by holding adoptions of your local homeless animals instead of selling puppy mill pets). This is a win/win for the city, for the tax payers, and for animals. This type of measure is not unduly punitive to pet stores either. We have a lot of experience converting pet stores to our humane business model and they do very well.
This is not only an animal protection issue, it is also a consumer protection issue. With such an ordinance, you will be taking a bold step to mitigate the suffering of animals in other states as well as protecting local consumers from being defrauded.
Having investigated over 2000 commercial breeding operations, we can tell you that without a doubt, that even when commercial breeding operations adhere to USDA minimum standards of care, animals are being abused and neglected. We’d be happy to show you evidence of that.
Carole Davis, West Coast Director, The Companion Animal Protection Society