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Pet Stores in Huntington Beach to Sell Only Shelter, Rescue Animals

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The Huntington Beach City Council has approved an ordinance that will prevent pet stores from selling dogs and cats procured from mills.

The OC Register reports that the council voted 4-3 on Monday in favor of the ban, which they've been considering since March.

The ban is part of an effort to shut down puppy mills altogether. Mills are well-known to leave animals in inhumane conditions, including cramped quarters and long stretches of time without human or animal interaction. Many pet stores get their animals from these types of mills.

Under the new regulations, pet stores in Huntington Beach will be required to get animals from reputable shelters and rescue organizations.

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The ordinance was opposed by several local people representing local business interests.

"We live in an economy that's driven by the marketplace and when it's left alone it actually works," said Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Wheeler. "Let the consumer make the decision. We oppose puppy mills but we (also) oppose this ordinance."

Councilman Matthew Harper added that "Business owners ... will be asking, what's next? What is the next job-killer ban of the month proposal that we're looking at?"

Most at the meeting were in favor of it, though, and pet stores now have two years to enact the new regulation.