Mount Pleasant, 2nd ban in NY, 3/2016, strengthens ban

Mamaroneck, New York, made history in February 2016 when the town council passed the first ban on the retail sales of dogs and cats in the state of New York:

The Village of Mamaroneck becomes the first municipality in New York to pass a ban on commercially-bred animals within its borders.

The usual pushback was attendant with the ban with one council member frightened of litigation from stores or even from the state which made it difficult for local jurisdictions to ban stores in 2000.

A 2000 state law that created the state licensing and inspection program for pet dealers prohibited municipal oversight of pet stores and home-based breeders. The state Agriculture and Markets Department had few inspectors and in the past five years levied penalties only in about 50 of 800 failed pet dealer inspections, [senior state director of ASPCA government relations for the Northeast, Bill] Ketzer said. “Local governments were kind of growing increasingly frustrated with their inability to protect themselves locally.”

The previous law didn’t cover wholesale pet sales from large-scale breeding facilities, also known as puppy mills, which is as important if not more so than regulating local pet stores, Ketzer said.

Westchester lawmakers want to combat ‘puppy mills’

But the rest of the council was having none of it, with the mayor stating,

When you’re a responsible elected official, you can’t be intimidated by what could happen.  You can’t govern scared. I have full confidence that this law will stand any appeal.

Mayor Norm Rosenblum

The ban was not challenged.

Later that year, New York Attorney General’s Office sent a letter to the state’s municipalities and county governments urging them to pass pet dealer/puppy mill regulations within their jurisdictions. Article.

Just one month later, in March 2016, Mount Pleasant, New York, passed a ban.

But recently, the Mount Pleasant town council wanted to amend their law by removing shelter and rescue language.

The ordinance when passed in 2016 read:

§ 84-1 Prohibition on sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell any live dog or cat in any pet store, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the Town of Mount Pleasant, unless the dog or cat was obtained from an animal shelter or a humane society located in the County of Westchester, or a nonprofit rescue and humane organization registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture.

B. For purposes of this section, a rescue and humane organization is defined as a New York State nonprofit corporation that is exempt from taxation under Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3), participates in early age spay/neuter of animals, complies with state and local laws regarding the humane treatment of animals, and whose mission and practice is, in whole or in significant part, the rescue and placement of dogs and/or cats.

Municipal code

As of September 2019, the ordinance reads:

§ 84-1 Prohibition on sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell any live dog or cat in any pet store, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the Town of Mount Pleasant.

Ordinance

Both our Google Map entry for Mount Pleasant and the Jurisdictions roster have been updated.

Why we dropped Fountain, CO

We’ve long been skeptical of a ban in Fountain, Colorado.

It was easy to believe the small town of 25k simply hadn’t updated their online municipal code which doesn’t mention the ordinance, though it was believed to have passed in 9/2011. One wonders how law and order is implemented if there is no code against which to prove an infraction.

There is a 2011 article mentioning the passage in passing, and an unsigned copy of an ordinance online at a non-governmental site.

But the most telling tell-tale: there has been at least one store in Fountain, Colorado, Valley Pets, which has been operating uninterrupted for 37 years to date, according to their YP and BBB pages.


Valley pups might have recently closed. Their Facebook page hasn’t been updated since August 19, 2019. Their phone number is still active, but in 10 calls placed to (719) 390-4583, we only ever got a “mailbox full” recording.

Most recent post on Valley Pets FB page from 8/19/2019.

Nonetheless, it appears to have operated unhindered for the 8 years since the ban purportedly was passed.

And there’s this Denver Post article.

Berthoud first in Colorado to ban sale of puppy mill dogs

Presumably the journalists at the state’s largest newspaper did their journalistic duty and got the answer from Fountain when we could not. Article

Doesn’t sound to us that the ordinance made it through the 2nd reading. We’ve tried calling the Fountain Colorado Municipal Clerk and have left a dozen messages over the years, none being returned. Like we said, small town of 25,000….

This deletion modified our Bans By Year chart which looked like this before the change:

puppymillfree.us Bans By Year

Live, the Bans By Year chart looks like this.

2019 reaches average bans per year

We’ve tracked animals sales bans all the way back to 1952. But the movement to end the sale of dogs and cats and sometimes rabbits, ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, long-lived birds and large reptiles didn’t pick up steam until Albuquerque in 2006 and then South Lake Tahoe in 2009.

Pet Sale Bans by Year

We take our average bans per year starting in 2006 where we had 1. It also includes 2009 where we had 1. As you can see in the graph, it also includes banner year 2016 with 103 bans.

We’re a bit late in the year to only reach average. Some years, however, like 2016, saw a majority of their bans enacted in the Autumn including in and around the Thanksgiving holiday and some in December.

The latest ban as of today is in Oveido, Florida, where super hero activist Michelle Lazarow convinced yet another Florida city to pass a ban. She states in an Orlando Sentinel article from July 22, 2019

[Lazarow] doubts the Legislature will pass statewide regulations strong enough to completely ban stores from selling dogs and cats from large commercial breeding operations.

“I would love it, but I don’t see it happening,” she said. “And if they’re not going to do it, then let the cities and counties pass regulations on their own, and on what happens in their backyards.”

Lazarow added that it’s important Oviedo enact the ban before a store that sells dogs and cats from large breeding facilities decides to open in the city.

Orlando Sentinel, 7/22/19

The average bans per year count is found in the bottom row of our graph, “Avg/yr since ’06: 29.”

We’re looking forward to seeing the average bans rise to 30 this year. To do that, bans passed in 2019 need to reach a total of 36. 7 more to go!

Salinas simply won’t go away

The Deep South of the state of California has been trying to rid itself of multiple store owner David Salinas for six years.

San Diego was the first to throw one of his stores out in 2013.

Then Encinitas and San Marcos in 2015.

Then Oceanside and Carlsbad in 2016.

Solana Beach, Vista and Del Mar passed preventive ordinances to make sure he didn’t come there.

Then the great state of California passed a comprehensive ban of retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in October 2017, effective 1/1/19.

But he’s still at it.

Activists have had enough.

National City still has 2 puppy stores open and doing the business of passing on the progeny of tortured, malnourished, sickly, spirit-broken dogs onto unknowing customers for a substantial premium.

Salinas is not going easily into that good night. He surely doesn’t want to let go of his easy money stream so he is hanging on with all his might to the last torn threads surrounding the state’s language loopholes.

But activists are there to virtually tar and feather him every step of the way.

Thank you southern California activists, for leading the way on fighting these stores to the bitter end and showing the rest of the country the steps they might have to take when their states pass a comprehensive retail animal sales ban.