There has been a small group (3) of Hispanics selling puppies on Nordhoff Street near Lindley for several weeks now. I never stopped, not knowing what the law was about selling puppies in a yard, closely abutting the sidewalk and the public tree lawn where people gathered to check them out. The cage was maybe 5 ft from the sidewalk.
Curious, I called West Valley, both to test their phone answering and response times, as well as checking on what the law was.
After 8 minutes and 41 seconds I talked to someone at West Valley who didn’t know what I was talking about. But he knew he didn't know, and I was bumped up to an ACO.
Explaining the situation, the ACO said they’d send someone out.
First, I was quite pleased I didn't have to wait 30 minutes as has been alleged happened to others--at least not this time and not at West Valley. I guess West Valley is beginning to grow on me.
I stopped by 30 minutes later, and sure enough, there was an Animal Control truck and an ACO Officer talking to the Hispanics. Again, someone had been sent out immediately. No pain, no wait.
I didn’t know what the law was, and what the officer told them, so I questioned him when he returned to his truck.
His name was officer "Pro." He said he told them they cannot sell on the streets and that Animal Services drove by that location all the time. He told me he got all their information. I don't know what that meant, but since he spent a considerable amount of time with them, I assume he got a lot of information.
Pro was a pro. Professional in appearance, friendly, informative.
But, as I was leaving, I asked myself, "Why didn't Animal Services stop these guys 3 weeks ago?" They had been selling the puppies there daily for the three weeks, and an AS truck must have driven by at least 10 times in 21 days.
Nordhoff is a main drag and the shelter is located one mile North on Plummer and about 1.5 miles West.
They even had a huge sign propped up over the lawn and sidewalk saying, “Puppies for sale,” and a truck saying "Exotic Pets" was parked at the curb by the puppies. There was no way to miss it. Also, the ACO I finally talked to on the phone said they had had many calls about this operation popping up all over the neighborhood, which I would surmise they would have investigated that area for some time.
I asked Pro whether they had a license, either an LA business license, or any specific to selling animals to the public. He seemed surprised and told me he did not ask. Pro did say, “You’ll not be seeing them around here again.”
I asked myself, couldn’t Pro have done more than just chase them away to set up operation a dozen blocks away? Why didn’t he check for licenses? Couldn't they have been cited if they didn't have a license? Could the puppies have been impounded?
As it was, they appeared to be selling six, 3 to 4 month old Golden Retrievers kept in a small 4 X 4 cage. At least they had an awning over the cage.
Since I didn't know, I asked a friend what should have been done. He responded:
“Pro didn't want to do his full job. He didn't want to write a report, didn't want to impound the animals, plain and simple. Easier for him to tell them to just move.
"They needed a breeder’s permit if they were bred in the city. They needed a dog kennel permit if they were kept at his house. He needed a pet store permit if he was selling them. No matter what it's illegal to sell them on public property or in front of someone else's property. He needed a USDA permit to breed or sell mammals. As they were over three months I think, they all needed dog licenses. And, coming soon, they'd need to be spayed or neutered."
Actually Pro did take an extensive amount of information and I assume wrote a report. Also, the puppies were actually being sold on a front yard, even though the sellers and buyers were milling around on the sidewalk and tree lawn. Therefore, the property itself might have been the kennel. The truck with the sign Exotic Pets sure indicates a retail operation located elsewhere.
My concern was not whether it was an illegal operation, but what would happen to the puppies? How did they fare in the hands of these guys selling them? Could they have been impouned? What would happen to them if they were and taken to West Valley? Since they were small and not Pitbulls, I assume they would have at least a 90% save rate.
If anybody knows the law and department policies, please leave a comment.