By Ted AYALA
Glendale has joined a growing list of cities that have banned the retail sale of cats and dogs. The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously, with Mayor Laura Friedman absent, in favor of imposing the new ordinance. Councilman Rafi Manoukian served as Mayor Pro Tem.
“Council gave us directions in June to go back and draft an ordinance to prohibit the sales of cats and dogs at retail locations. This is what this ordinance does,” said Chief Assist. City Attorney Michael J. Garcia. “There are exceptions to this. Cats and dogs that are reared on premises by publicly operated humane societies and animal control agencies [would be exempted].”
Before the ordinance would take full effect, a one-year period of amortization would be applied to allow pet stores to sell off their remaining pets.
“I don’t think there is anyone in this room who doesn’t support animal welfare and puts the rights of our animals at the utmost priority,” said pet store advocate Marcy Wichard. “But this ordinance does not do that. The proposed ban indiscriminately targets responsible pet stores, while exempting others who need not even comply with the strict standards under which pet stores already operate. A ban on the sale of cats and dogs by pet stores does nothing to reduce their breeding and sub-standard conditions.”
However, not all pet stores came out against the ordinance. Rene Karapetian, owner of Pet Rush in Kenneth Village, stepped up to the council dais in support.
“I’m so for this ordinance mainly because over the past 10 years I’ve owned my store … I’ve seen some of these dogs come back for grooming and they’re pregnant, or had given birth,” he said. “When I would ask them what they [bred] their purebred dog with, they’d tell me their neighbor’s dog, or my relative’s dog. ‘What happened to the puppies?’ I’d ask and they would respond, ‘I don’t know, we just gave them away.’ This is an ordinance that is going to save our best friends’ lives.”
“You’ve seen my dog around, Sammy,” spoke Councilman Dave Weaver before the vote. “She came from the humane society. [When I found her] she was all skin and bones, had three incisor teeth snapped off, and I can tell by the way she behaved that she was terribly abused.
“I’ve seen the horror stories of how animals are treated; seen these unlicensed puppy mills. It’s just gut-wrenching to see how they’ve treated the animals. I guarantee you, any animal that you rescue from a humane society knows it and appreciates it. They know they’re lucky. Those animals are going to love you.”
“Basically [this ordinance] helps to get pets in shelters adopted,” said Councilman Ara Najarian who, along with the rest of the council, affirmed his support for the ordinance. “This is a very admirable [ordinance].”