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That doggy's not for sale: Ban on commercially-bred critters heads to city council

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How much is that doggy in the window? Try a $250 to $1,000 misdemeanor fine. Los Angeles came one step closer on Wednesday to banning the sale of commercially-bred pets. 

A City Council committee has approved a proposed law that would require every dog, cat or rabbit sold in Los Angeles to come from a shelter or humane society.

If the council passes the ordinance, storefronts caught selling commercially-bred critters could find themselves taking home a misdemeanor charges — along with a fine of up to $1,000.

Local animal rights activists have long advocated regulation of pet store suppliers, particularly those they suspect are doubling as puppy mills. (The ASPCA defines puppy mills as "large-scale commercial dog breeding operations where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.")

The law would also allegedly help reduce overcrowding in L.A.'s shelter system, which euthanized approximately 22,000 cats and dogs last year. That's 2,000 more animals than were adopted out.

Critics of the ban say people seeking pure-bred pets will simply start buying them online and from local breeders.

City animal services chief Brenda Barnette says 11 pet stores sell cats and dogs in the city. They would have to show proof that the animals were obtained from city-approved shelters or animal protection societies.

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