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Pet Ordinance Approved


POSTED: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 7:42pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 7:40am

A controversial animal ordinance meant to curb the city's pet population has passed.

El Paso city council voted to approved the measure which will regulate the sale of dogs and cats.

In a 6 to 1 vote, council approved the watered-down version of the pet ordinance. But the approved version didn't please everybody.

"I, and most of us in this room, would've liked to see this ordinance go further," said Tom Linney of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

What the original ordinance was going to do was ban the sale of all dogs and cats in El Paso in order to reduce the number of dogs euthanized each year. Right now, that number is 18,000

"We need to aggressively campaign and support an 'Adopt Don't Shop,'" said Barbara Valencia, who was in favor of the ordinance.

So here's what El Pasoans are left with; the ordinance prohibits the sale of dogs and cats under eight weeks old. Also under the ordinance, only breeders will be allowed to sell dogs and cats between eight weeks and one year of age. And they still can't make a profit in that first year - they can only re-coup the cost of healthcare, food, and shelter.

The motive is to cut down on impulse buying, or families seeing puppies and kittens and buying them without thinking it through. But dog breeder Warren Ball worries about enforcement.

"You've got an extremely large set of complicated amendments, who is going to teach these people?" asked Ball.

The mayor has said that he finds it almost impossible to appease everyone, but says the proposal is a fair compromise. It goes into effect in January.

Comments News Comments

Its a great law. There are TOO MANY dogs and cats who get put to sleep because people abandon them when they are not wanted anymore.
I am hoping that those that do sell dogs get punished. Can we call the cops on those people if we see posting on the newspaper?? I am tempted.

It is a great law. It is heart breaking to see so many dogs and cats be put to sleep and/or abandoned by owners who fall in love with them when they are puppies, but fall right out of love as soon as they find out what intails in having a pet. People! STOP BRINGING POOR DOGS INTO THIS WORLD SO THEY CAN ULTIMATELY SUFFER!! There are SO MANY in shelters that need a home! I do hope those that sell dogs get caught and get punished for it. Bottom line! out $100-$3K for a purebred animal that I want instead of settling for a shelter surprise.

..allergies who need short or no-hair breeds. Shelter don't always have what people want. And those people are more than likely just going to pump more money into other cities' economies by buying pets in places that haven't outlawed pet or breeder sales. El Paso will never be a no-kill city because our local lawmakers would rather enforce pipe dreams as opposed to enforce laws that are already in place. All this law has done is inconvenience many pet owners. I know I'll be driving to NM and....

This law is not going to work, or it will be just as effective as the cell phone ban while driving. All this law is doing is helping to drain money from our local economy. Because you can preach and cry all you want for people to adopt shelter mutts, but the hard truth is that not all people want shelter dogs for various reasons. Some people want purebreds for show or sport, or need to find a certain breed for size because of living accomodations, or possibly certain breeds for people with pet..

No aspect of this ordinance will have the effect that is claimed. The ONLY proven method of ending shelter killing is the No-Kill Equation which can be found at the No Kill Advocacy group. It is working in Reno, NV, in Tompkins County, NY, in Charlottesville, VA and in a growing number of open admission shelters around the country.

What will happen is that you will make criminals out of law abiding individuals, force people to give up pets to the shelter which will then kill them.

Yes, our society has issues with impulse buying. How about taking some of the money spent on arguing about this and put it into PUBLIC EDUCATION on the matter! Breeders do what they do for a living... that's their JOB! There are some idiots that buy dogs (no matter the price) and end up getting rid of the animal because they didn't fully understand (or totally ignored) the level of responsibility you need to care for an animal.

And what about this "no selling under 1 year"? A dog is hard-wired for disposition within that first year! If that dog is treated poorly, it's demeanor will be ruined. You mean to tell me that it's "responsible", or even ethical, to turn around and sell that dog to a family with small children?

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the new Socialist nation. Pull the stupid ordinance and try actually ENFORCING LAWS against animal cruelty and neglect!

The pet stores have no incentive to sell the consumer a well bred, healthy puppy. The misconception is that because you buy your puppy from a store, it is of better quality than the one being sold on the street corner. WRONG! Any ordinance that helps in reducing the pet overpopulation in our city is good. And if you take the greedy, money aspect out of the equation, the incentive to breed/sell goes down. And that is a good thing

Actually pet stores have a huge incentive to see a well bred, healthy animal. I believe the only store that currently sells puppies in El Paso is a Petland. According to the Petland website, Petland offers a warranty on the puppies they sell. So, if Petland provides a warranty for their animals, why would they want to sell an unheathly one; so they can pay warrantly claims? No, they have every incentive to sell healthly animals so that customers can bring a great home new member of the family

So the new ordinance ( not a ban) will not allow pet stores and the indiscriminate breeders to make a profit off these innocent victims of greed. The new ordinance still allows pet stores to sell puppies, just not at a profit. On average, pet stores buy their puppies from a broker for approximately $60-$100 each, then turn around and sell them to the consumer for $1,200 to $4,000 each depending on the breed. The pet stores have no incentive to sell the consumer a well bred, healthy puppy. The mi

Our society today is one of instant gratification. Today's impulse purchase from a pet store, an ad in the paper or on the internet, or from the back of someone's pick-up truck becomes a burden on rescues and shelters, the city, and the taxpayers. These types will sell to anyone with cash in hand without any care or consideration of the dog's future.

I suspect there are thousands of healthy puppies sold to loving and caring families from pet stores every day. Just because someone purchases a puppy at a pet store doesn't mean the puppy hasn't found a home for life. You make it sound like a majority of puppies purchased at a pet store will end up in a shelter or rescue. There is no way this is the case.

I don't think there's many purebred dogs running loose. You don't normally spend hundreds for a pet to turn it loose. Sounds toi me like greeed by the city council. Just like their decision to tax Ft. Bliss PX sales. It isn't enough all the other revenue they get from the Bliss expansion, no they have to squeeze every drop. I think all the trash in El Paso is a more serious problem. Trash is everywhere, and graffiti . . . What do you think is El Paso's first impression on people?

(continued) Price is not an indication of who has a better home to offer or whether they will be less or more likely to dump the dog. Selling a dog is all about the value of the sale, not the value of the life of a dog. Puppies are not products.

(continued) Go to and type in your zip code. There you will see picture after picture of purebred dogs that are currently in our local rescues. St. Bernard’s, Doberman’s, Cocker Spaniels, English Toy Spaniel, Basset Hounds, Beagles, Poodles, Great Danes, the list goes on and on. So where did these purebreds come from? Why are they on “doggie death row” or in rescues and shelters? Price is not an indication of who has a better home to offer or whether they will be less or more like

Don't you think the people that want to rescue a puppy are already seeking these animals out at the local shelters and rescues? Why should the city council, or anyone else for that matter, tell me where I can get my next new puppy? Those who seek out rescues are doing a very good thing, but doesn't mean everyone should be required to do the same thing. Not everyone wants to deal with the challenges that can accompany a rescue animal.

A lot of people are under the misconception that because somebody paid $1,500 for a puppy from a pet store, they take better care of it and are less likely to get rid of it. This could not be further from the truth. All one has to do is go to Animal Control or the Humane Society and take a look at all of the purebred dogs.

What are they going to do about the pet sales on Craigslist, etc. . . Maybe they can do like China. round up every dog seen loose, and shoot it. Works for China. About as dumb as banning grocery bags like they wanted to do a couple years ago. Like that wold make any real difference in reducing litter. Stay out of our lives!

"The motive is to cut down on impulse buying, or families seeing puppies and kittens and buying them without thinking it through."

Boy am I glad that our oh so wise and all knowing leaders are now taking over our thinking process. What personal decisions will they free us of next??

I hope the voters remember how to think on their own come election time.

Our mayor and city council are about as dumb as a broom.
While there may be a problem with too many dogs and cats they are trying to legislate it in a ridiculous way.
Why not simply raise the dog and include cat annual license fee much much higher if the animal is NOT spade.
Make anyone that sells a pet get a license.
And substantially raise the fee to get a animal picked up by animal control back in addition to enacting a barking dog ordinance with a substantial penalty.

Pity this is all about money and the city wants it all. I say government get out of my face and out of my house.

Did you read that???? Can't make a profit!!! This is what it's about. Do any of these people downtown know anything about individual liberty guaranteed in the consitition. You cannot tell people they cannot make money!!! I predict a lawsuit of consitutionality on that alone. You cannot tell peple they cannot sell their dog. Has this city become communist? ONLY BREEDERS CAN SELL DOGS. What's next, only car dealers can sell cars. NUTS, A BUNCH OF COMMIES!!!!!

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