Now That We Have Banned Puppy Mills, What’s Next?


Yes, the big story in Burbank came to a head Tuesday night.  It has had residents up in arms for months but finally we have a decision.

What is that big story?  Was it the upcoming budget crisis, the new City Manager or Police Chief, wait, I know, it has to be the results of the grand jury investigation into the City Attorney’s office and police department.  All huge issues that face Burbank right now – and during an election cycle at that.

No, it was the issues of a pet store in Burbank that does not buy puppy mill dogs.

Rocky being Rocky

Before we go any further, let me say this all you haters of anything that you do not agree with.  I have had a dog my entire life.  Every time I have brought home a new dog (actually they always pick me – and I have no idea why!), he has been out of a shelter.  My current dog, Rocky, rules my world.  So the issue here is not that I have something against our K-9 friends.

My issue is the same as Councilman Gary Bric brought up, why is this a Burbank issue?

It was identified that there are a total of TWO pet stores in Burbank that sell dogs, if you read John Savageau’s great articles for BurbankNBeyond, he interviewed one of the leading pet shop owners in the city, Ira Lippman of Peggy Woods Pet Emporium.  Lippman detailed how he got his dogs and the process they went through.  No one has accused Peggy Woods of buying puppy mill dogs.  So why is this such a big issue in Burbank.

While I think people should get a rescue dog, I do not begrudge anyone who wants a certain breed of dog or a certain puppy they can raise.  Let’s face it, some rescue dogs (including Rocky who was in the East Valley Shelter) have no history, so in a way it’s buyer beware.  In my case, Rocky is one of the greatest dogs I have ever had and all these dogs later, only one was a real problem, but we kept him his entire life.  How many rescue dogs have been returned because they are just mean or anti-social compared to a puppy you buy in a store that you bring up yourself?

City Council member Gary Bric who recently recovered from retna surgery, listens to speakers.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
City Council member Gary Bric who recently recovered from retina surgery, listens to speakers.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

But we are getting off the topic here, which is why is this such a big event for Burbank?

When it was all said and done, after many hours of deliberation and impassioned pleas from citizens (were they all Burbank residents?), an ordnance was adopted from the council to ban all dog sells in Burbank except for rescue dogs.

Great – now we have put an end to puppy mills, and we are about to have a law on the books.  Laws like this are important – especially in Burbank.

I mean, we have laws that will not let you smoke anywhere in Downtown Burbank – except it seems you can see someone smoking there everyday.  There are laws that you can’t remove a shopping cart from a parking lot of a store – but yet we see homeless people pushing carts everyday down the street.  Now we have the puppy mill law.

Let’s give the police another law to enforce, because they have so much extra time on their hands.

Duke ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Duke ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Of course the argument is going to be that once Burbank bans their sale, it is one more place they can’t be sold.  Good point, but that still leaves over 450 other cities just in California alone.  While some cities have passed this law, there are far more that have not.  And that’s just California.

It is like the Indian groups who were going to go to every school district and demand that every school change their name from Indians to something else.  People in Burbank rebelled enough they took their fight to other cities (although no one will ever explain the real reason why the giant Indian head in the Burroughs gym was painted over – but that’s another story in itself)

Everyone agrees that Puppy Mills are evil and have to completely go.  Sign me up.  But if there are puppy mills, then these groups need to mobilize and go and picket in front of them and demand to have THEM shut down, not local pet stores who may actually might be trying to do the right thing.  These groups should be packing Congressman Adam Schiff’s office or Dianne Feinstein’s office demanding something be done everyday until a federal law is passed banning them.  If there are already federal laws in place, they should be at the Attorney General’s office demanding why the laws are not being enforced.  Nothing happened to one puppy mill after Tuesday night’s vote and shame on our City Council for getting mixed up in a national issue.

What’s next for Burbank, banning the beating of baby seals – I’m sure that there is a group out there.  Parrots and birds are constantly being smuggled in – where are all the bird people demanding outrage and banning bird sales?

When Burbank takes on national issues, the only people who lose are the citizens of Burbank.  We need our local leaders taking on the everyday issues that Burbank citizens need relief for such as water rates, budget issues, etc. and leave the overall national problems to the state and federal government.

So that’s it from the bullpen and your comments are always welcomed below.


    1. Wow, were you at the same meeting or those prior? There was proof that Peggy Woods got their animals from mills, and Burbank is one city that is voicing it’s opinion with law, which will have a ripple effect on mills. AND yes, we are going after the actual MILLS too, we are hitting them from all sides, we are starting ‘in our own backyard’ and working towards a national level. OH and yeah, I am a Burbank home owner & resident.

    2. Wow, were you even these Council meetings?
      There was proof that Peggy Woods got their animals from mills, and Burbank is one city that is voicing it’s opinion with law, which will have a ripple effect on mills. AND yes, we are going after the actual MILLS too, we are hitting them from all sides, we are starting ‘in our own backyard’ and working towards a national level. OH and yeah, I am a Burbank home owner & resident.

      • That so called proof was manufactured by the animal rights brigade. Not a bit of truth in it. I recognized many at the meeting as paid out of town protestors from PeTA and HSUS. The only thing these people want to do is to stop everyone from owning a pet of any kind. Getting rid of pet shops they see is not about animal welfare or protecting you from buying from the mean old puppy mill, but it is to prevent you from owning any pet. ” I hope I never see another cat or dog born.” Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS.

    3. I’d really love to know if those protesting are Burbank residents or professional protestors. We buy all our pet supplies at Peggy Wood’s and frequently stop buy just to love on the animals.

    4. My three siblings and I grew up in Burbank, graduated from John Burroughs HS, and
      our Mom still lives in the town. I’m wondering WHY this mostly-bogus issue of pet stores selling “puppy mill” dogs was the most important item for the City Council to address. First, most stores that sell purebred or “designer” dogs buy them from USDA-licensed breeders, and the standards that those breeding establishments have to meet not only far exceed what the best “homemaker” in the world can do, it’s also far beyond what the best, cleanest restaurant in the world will do. Calling a USDA breeder a “puppy mill” is like using the “N” word to refer to an African-American or the “K” word to refer to a Jew.

      Second, isn’t it an illegal restraint of trade for a government entity to tell a retail store which legal source it must get its merchandise from?
      (more to come…)

    5. (part 2)
      Third, people have the RIGHT to buy their pet from the source of their choice. Just today I heard several horror stories about rescue groups lying about the dogs they placed with unsuspecting new owners — dogs that were known biters, dogs that were known not to get along with other dogs, etc. The result of these bad placements was people saing “never again” to obtaining a dog from a shelter or rescue.

      Thus, unless the real objective of passing this law was to decrease pet ownership, it is counterproductive to require stores to sell only “used” dogs, most of whom would have stayed with their original owners unless problems developed!

      • That is entirely the objective of the 1000 new laws that HSUS proudly claims they have pushed across this country. Animal rights means no more pets. Thats all it means because these people do not care about the welfare of the pets only that you cannot have one anymore. “Better off Dead”, Ingrid Newkirk of PeTA

    6. I’m glad to see active concerned citizens over the treatment of animals. Although this might be out of content, why is it that domesticated animals are the only ones to be concerned about? What about the rest that we’ve learned to consume? Can anyone tell me the difference between a puppy and a calf? They both share extraordinary qualities. Their is also substantial amount of evidence that we do not require any animal product for our existence. Don’t believe me, maybe you should Google why we stopped using our Vermiform Appendix.

    7. Google puppy mills and look at the images.. do your research. I personally don’t want any pet stores in the city I reside in to contribute to puppy mills.. they are cruel and only add to the over population problem of animals. I love places like Pet Mania on Pass Ave. where their animals have been rescued and are in need of homes. These animals are tested from all angles and due to liability would never adopt out an animal they see as unfit with behavioral problems or the like. I applaud Burbank for this decision and I am honestly disappointed as to why people would be against this. Burbank is a great city and banning puppy mills was a much needed act to set a good example for others. There is no good coming from puppy mills, there is a perfectly good pet out there for you at your local shelters and rescues.

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