“How much is that doggie in the window? The one with the waggly tail. How much is that doggie in the window? I do hope that doggie is for sale.” Pattie Page took this novelty song to #1 in 1953. One of the reasons it became such a hit, and remains a favorite children’s song today, is because of the positive experience so many people have of buying a dog from a pet store. But, in more and more US cities, that experience is no longer possible because the sale of dogs and cats at retail outlets has been banned. What is even more ominous is that the same people behind this movement also have the stated goal of eliminating pet ownership altogether. You say it can’t happen? Just look at this.
On July 9, 2013, the nine San Diego City Council members voted unanimously to adopt demands made by animal rights groups to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits. With its passage, San Diego becomes the 12th city in California to adopt such a ban. How is it that an elected governmental body unilaterally put an entire class of businesses out of business? Easy, thanks to well-organized and well-funded political and public pressure from radical animal activists. The path to San Diego’s pet store ban started on March 13, 2013 when the Companion Animal Protection Society, a national animal rights organization leading the movement to prohibit pet sales, presented a report to San Diego city council members. The council, after hearing public testimony, created a special working group composed of “animal organizations, City staff, and the City Attorney’s Office to draft an ordinance regulating the sale of companion animals in pet shops, retail businesses, and commercial establishments.”
Initially, the city’s two local pet store owners were not asked for their input on an issue directly impacting their businesses. The group presented their findings to the City Council on May 1, 2013; and, amidst strong demands and concerns raised by several local citizens on both sides of the issue, the council agreed to move forward with their consideration of the proposed ban. During the final meeting, several animal rights activists gathered in the council chamber wearing red shirts, calling themselves the “San Diego Animal Defense Team.” Karen Gregory Clayton, a member of the group, testified before the council that “In my world, a responsible breeder is the same as a responsible drug dealer.” Now take a minute and let the ludicrousness of that statement sink in. The ban will force the closure of two local businesses: PetMarket and San Diego Puppy. David Salinas, President of San Diego Puppy, became the focal point of animal rights protests and threats. In his final testimony to the City, Salinas refuted lies, defended his business practices, and spoke of his love for animals, stating, “I would never do anything to jeopardize the health of a puppy.”
We level-headed animal lovers here in the Midwest might feel content and say, “Well it’s California, what do you expect?” But according to ABC News, there are 32 cities around the US that have enacted similar bans. Protect the Harvest reports that “These bans are growing in popularity across the nation, backed by animal rights organizations like HSUS. They guilt the general public to adopt the view that animal ownership is an immoral practice, rather than an honorable and rewarding responsibility.” Many of the groups involved in this movement advocate that animal ownership is akin to slavery. Some have argued in court that animals should have the same legal standing as humans. Protect the Harvest warns, “Make sure you keep up with your own local government activity. Because, in the end, it will be up to you, as a citizen, to stand up for freedom in your own cities and towns.”
A fitting epilogue to this story is the fact that, in 2009, Patti Page recorded a version of the song with a new title “Do You See That Doggie in the Shelter” together with new lyrics with the hopes of emphasizing the adoption of homeless animals from animal shelters. The rights to the song was given exclusively to the Humane Society of the United States, ironically an organization that gives very little money to local animal shelters. The issue here is not where you buy your pet, but that you have the right to choose and not let that right to taken away by radical activists and spineless politicians.
By Gary Truitt