Date: September 10, 2012 1:31:50 PM PDT
Subject: Chula Vista City Council to Consider Ordinance Regulating Pet
Chula Vista City Council to Consider Ordinance Regulating Pet Sellers
Please forward this information onto club members and responsible dog
owners in the Chula Vista area. We apologize for the late notice; we
only became aware of this ordinance today.
TOMORROW, SEPT. 11, the Chula Vista Council will consider an ordinance
which will place specific requirements on "pet sellers," including
requiring them to submit to inspections and requiring that intact
males and females be kept separately unless they are being bred. In
2011, the council adopted language which defines a "pet seller" as
"anyone who sells more than two dogs and/or cats in Chula Vista in a
12-month period." This low threshold means that a person who has sold
a single litter of puppies or kittens is considered to be a pet
seller. As Chula Vista does not currently have any kennels, pet owners
in residential homes are the sole targets of the proposal. Responsible
owners and breeders are encouraged to attend the meeting and ask that
this ordinance be revised with more complete definitions and
The draft of the ordinance can be seen here (Item 7 begins on page 103).
AKC has numerous concerns about the vagueness of the ordinance
language and its potential negative impact on responsible breeders and
owners in Chula Vista.
• The most concerning section is Section L, which allows the city to
inspect pet sellers if there is a complaint. However, it is unclear
how exactly a pet seller will be impacted. For example, if a litter of
puppies is whelped in January, sold in March, and a complaint is filed
in December, is that person considered a "pet seller" and subject to
inspection even if the puppies are no longer on the premises? What do
the complaints need to be in regards to? What will be the criteria of
the inspection? Does it only encompass those items listed in Section
6.30.040, the full animal control code, or other items not mentioned?
What will be the result of an unsatisfactory inspection – warning,
fine, confiscation of animals? What will the scope of the inspection
be given that these are private residences? Will residents be expected
to allow animal control (or another agency) unfettered access to all
areas of their homes? What happens if a resident refuses to allow
inspectors to enter? What happens if the resident is not home? The AKC
believes this provision has the potential to significantly impact a
responsible breeder or owner and yet very few details about its
administration are provided.
• Section I prohibits housing males and females together unless they
are being bred. This demonstrates a lack of knowledge about canine
biology. A female dog can only become pregnant when she is "in
season," something which occurs twice a year. It is unreasonable to
require pet owners to keep unaltered animals separate at all times.
• In other sections the proposal lacks key definitions, such as
"primary enclosure" and "kennel house" in Section H. If these
provisions applied to commercial kennels, it might be possible to
infer their meaning. However, the proposal deals with household pets
in residential settings and as a result is less clear. For example,
does an animal need to spend a specific amount of time in a "primary
enclosure" every day for it to be required to meet the space
requirements? The code section containing the space requirements is
for commercial kennels, yet it may now be applied to residential homes
• Similarly, in Section D the proposal requires water receptacles to
be secured to prevent it from being tipped over. It is unclear if a
water bowl on the ground would be acceptable. Again, this provision
seems suited for commercial kennels, not private homes.
Given the breadth of these concerns, the AKC believes a more prudent
course of action may be to redraft the proposal with more specific
details so that pet sellers, residents and animal control can all have
a clear understanding of what is required and how it will be enforced.
What You Can Do
• Attend the Chula Vista City Council Meeting on Tuesday September
11th and speak against the proposed ordinance.
Chula Vista City Council Meeting
Date: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Time: 10 AM
Location: Council Chambers, 276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910
The measure is currently on the Consent Calendar but it can be removed
by a city council member or a citizen for discussion. If the item is
passed without being removed, it will appear on the agenda for
September 25th for final adoption.
• Contact the Mayor and City Council members and ask them to oppose
this ordinance as drafted.
Mayor and City Council Office
Phone: (619) 691-5044
Fax: (619) 476-5379
Mayor Cheryl Cox
Click here to email her using the city's web form
Councilmember Rudy Ramirez
Councilmember Patricia Aguilar
Click here to email her using the city's web form
Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan
Councilmember Steve Castenada
For more information, please contact the AKC Government Relations
Department at 919-816-3720, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.