|Cover Story - Political Enquiry||October 14th, 2010|
Puppy Mills and Our Local Legislators:
In connection with this week’s cover story, The Paper sent the following message to all candidates for public office in North County.
We would like to learn your position on Puppy Mills and legislation designed to decrease their market share and deter them from shipping pups from their home state(s) to Southern California and its various cities.
a. If elected, would you agree to carry and/or support legislation for your city to pass an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of live pets in retail establishments within your city limits?
San Marcos Candidates
Mike Preston Responded
None of the Vista Candidates Responded
Chuck Rabel (M)
Glenn Bernard - (M) Responded
Keith Blackburn (M)
Here are the written responses from those candidates who did answer the query:
From Ed Gallo, Escondido:
This is an issue that affects all taxpayers in every community. When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey the 'Dog Catcher' was responsible for removing roaming and sometimes rabid dogs off the streets to keep the citizens safe. Who pays for the service should be a concern of every taxpayer as we are the ones, whether you own a cat or dog or not, who support what we now refer to as the Humane Society through our tax dollars which in the case of Escondido are funds from the General Fund to pay for animal control services. As the cost of animal control increases our general fund decreases accordingly. I believe our current cost for animal control is well over $500,000 however I am not sure of the actual amount.
Ed Gallo, Escondido
From Mike Preston, San Marcos:
As a pet lover and owner, I was surprised and disgusted with the scope and magnitude of this problem. I appreciate you shining a light on the issue. I personally adopt my pets from local rescue shelters and would recommend that process to all potential pet owners.
I am reluctant to support a local ordinance that would universally prohibit all pet sales in retail stores because it would penalize the honest and ethical businesses along with the bad. It is akin to prohibiting all newspapers because a few may be unethical or poorly operated.
I would support legislation on the state and national level to better regulate the industry. For instance, charging a fee on every retail pet purchase to support expansion of investigation of puppy mill complaints. I would also support local legislation to better monitor retail pet establishments to prevent the sales of pets raised in poor conditions as described in your story.
From Richard Barron, Escondido:
Regarding your position on Puppy Mills, here are my views and position.
I am ABSOLUTELY against puppy mills and would support legislation to close down the sale of animals from such establishments. I have several dogs and they have all come to us for various reasons. We have a Ridgeback that we adopted from a client that was going to sail around the World, we have a Schnauzer that came with Mother in Law when she came to live with us, we share ownership of a Chocolate lab that was abandoned in our old neighborhood, we have a Black lab that was up for auction at a Rotary event, and then we have a Weimeriner from the pet store in North County Fair.
In that case we had watched her grow up in the glass display case for six months, until she could barely stand up. They were asking $2300 for her and eventually we became so annoyed that we went to the owners of the store and said we would pay $500 and if they did not accept that offer we would sue them for cruelty to animals. We took her home and she could barely control herself, her pads were so soft that they would bleed from walking on the carpet. She did not know what stairs were and could not climb them or get into the truck. She did not know what grass was as she had only been exercised for half an hour a day for the last six months. She still craves attention but has grown up with all the other dogs and is strong and very active. I cannot imagine what the first few months of her life were like, but I do know that she is making up for it now.
So when I am elected, one action I would take is to introduce legislation to ban the sale of animals from puppy mills. I agree with all the information in your articles and strongly support the cause.
From Dick Daniels, Escondido:
Anyone with any compassion for living beings, including dogs and cats, would deplore the conditions of these facilities where animals are so badly mistreated. But my conservative leanings caution me not to rush to support more levels of controls on legitimate business establishments; in this case, pet stores, that provide pets with clean, comfortable and safe living conditions.
It seems to me there are at least two reasons why a local ordinance trying to ban the sale of pets from such of these facilities would be misdirected:
1. The inhumane treatment of these animals is not committed in Escondido, rather where these breeding facilities are located. Our purview is to be sure the retail pet facilities in Escondido provide clean, comfortable and safe living conditions for the animals being offered for sale. If we were to ban the sale of goods that are produced under subhuman conditions, using the same rationale that the solution is at the point of sale, not point of origin, we’d be prohibiting the sale of goods from China, other parts of Asia and Africa where sweat shops abound. That would clear off the shelves of most retail outlets, large and small.
2. Even if we were so inclined, we don’t have the manpower and other enforcement resources necessary to check retail outlets to be sure animals are not coming from puppy mills and other such facilities. Our core competencies and priorities are public safety and public works and we have enough of a challenge providing those services without trying to check up to be sure little Fido is not from a puppy mill in Missouri or some other distant locale.
The most effective way to shut down these facilities is via the free enterprise system; in this case, consumer behavior. There needs to be a public education program that leads to a widespread consumer boycott in which prospective pet buyers refuse to buy animals that come from these facilities. Let market demand – or the lack thereof – solve the problem.
At the same time, there needs to be disclosure requirements that give consumers information where the pet for sale comes from.
From Glenn Bernard, Carlsbad:
my website is
Within this website, I proclaim that I am a "capitalist with environmental concerns." I am an animal lover, and once carried a sign at the Sea World entrance that was a protest (led by the Sea Shepherd Society) of the dolphin petting pool. Accordingly, I would gladly support an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of live pets in retail establishments in Carlsbad. Keep up the good work.
Kristal Jabara, SanMarcos, CA.
Sorry, this is probably more than you wanted but, I felt it was important for you to understand how I feel about the subject. I have attached a picture of Hannah with Dublin and Daisy, yes Dublin's tongue is sticking out...it's so Dublin. We even have some phrases in our home "Dublin moment" and "that's so a Dublin".