Credit: Amie Chou/The HSUS

The new law will ensure that dogs come from a bonafide shelter.

Like a new California law that went into effect at the beginning of this year, this law in National City would allow pet stores to have dogs up for adoption that they got from legitimate rescues and shelters. However, the new law would target their profits – not allowing them to charge a fee for those adoptions, effectively gutting the current business models of the two existing pet stores in National City.

Inside National City Puppies, customers can purchase eight to 12-week-old pure bred and designer mix puppies. In order to comply with a new California law, the dogs are listed as rescues from places like Bark Adoptions in Menifee.

“Now with the introduction of AB-45, they have to come from a rescue,” said National City Puppies Manager David Salinas. “So, they’re coming from the rescue and that’s all the information we have. We are complying with AB-45. All the postcards are on our display.”

He claims he doesn’t know where Bark Adoptions gets the puppies, but a 10 News investigation earlier this year found that some of the dogs were coming from out-of-state brokers with ties to commercial breeders. This is a process the San Diego Humane Society calls puppy laundering.

“They go into these stores and they purchase these dogs thinking, ‘Well it must be a good dog. It’s expensive,'” said animal rights activist Leslie Davies of Not One Animal Harmed. She says the National City council did the right thing voting 4-1 in favor of the new ordinance.

“I am extraordinarily happy, because I think this is a very humane city,” said Davies.

Salinas called it an injustice and government overreach.

“It’s the American way to have your freedom to choose where to buy a puppy,” he said.

But Davies says there are still lots of options for people looking to buy specific pets.

“People can still go out, and if they want to spend $5,000 a dog, you can spend $5,000 on a dog, but you’re not going to get a puppy mill dog. You can go to a reputable breeder, and you can get any dog of your choosing,” said Davies.

This is just the introduction of the ordinance. It still has to come back in front of the city council next month for adoption before it goes into effect.