A group of animal activists and residents gathered at City Hall on Tuesday to urge the Newport Beach City Council to ban the retail sale of dogs and pets.
The requests follow months of controversy sparked by the "I Heart Puppies" Store in Corona del Mar. In July, the store came into the public spotlight when the Companion Animal Protection Society, a nonprofit group, launched an investigation into the store after complaints from residents and assertions that the store gets its puppies from Midwest puppy mills.
Since then, I Heart Puppies has been the subject of court hearings and several by the Animal Protection & Rescue League and other animal organizations.
Store owner Brooke Bradford has stated she does not support puppy mills or those with a history of problems with USDA requirements. She told the City Council she is looking forward to working with them, should they require any documents for an investigation.
"We have been to our breeders, we know them personally, we pick the dogs out and they are driven or flown back to our store," Bradford said. "They arrive at our store alive and well."
Dave Simon, an attorney for CAPS, was one of a handful of people who encouraged the council to pass an ordinance similar to the one the Irvine City Council recently approved, which bans the sale of dogs and pets in retail stores.
"We'd love to see Newport Beach take a similar and historic and responsible stand," Simon said.
Resident Alicia Culberstone echoed Simon's request.
"There is a growing wave of people choosing to adopt rather than shop," she said. "People would rather support humane conscientious businesses rather than those that greedily profit from cruelty."