Debate on banning backyard breeding in Palm Springs continues

Debate on banning backyard breeding in Palm Springs continues

Claudia Buccio

City council decided to delay their vote on whether backyard breeding should be legal or not in Palm Springs. This came after several breeders and the American Kennel Club considered boycotting the Palm Springs dog show.

The idea of banning backyard breeding in Palm springs took many by surprise including William Christensen, local a breeder who has raised Australian terriers for 25 years.

“The Kennel Club and I became interested in the legislation and thought it needed to be opposed at this point or at least worked with to make it possible to still breed dogs,” he said.

Another concern had to do with the ordinance stating that breeders would not be able to give dogs away.

“They way the legislation is written it would prevent giving away dogs, which makes me wonder what would happen if I re-home a dog I took back because the owner died or got ill,” Christensen said.

City Councilmember Christy Holstege said the ordinance prompted outrage beyond the Palm Springs area.

“I received a lot of letters from people all over the country that they oppose the backyard breeding ban, but I think the people of Palm Springs might feel differently, and we want to hear from them,” she said.

One of the reasons for the ban is the fact that there are too many pets at the local animal shelters and not enough people are adopting them.

“We wanted to take a stand against backyard breeding to tell people they need to spay and neuter their pets,” Holstege said. “Please don’t breed your dogs or your cats because we still have animals you can adopt.”

The city council has decided to postpone the ordinance until they meet with representatives of the American Kennel Club, chamber of commerce and residents to find the best solution to this issue.

“I can appreciate the problem with shelters, but reputable breeders are not really contributing to that problem,” Christensen said.

He added that he does not breed as a business but rather to preserve Australian terriers. If anything, boycotting the dog show could hurt the economy in Coachella Valley.

Christensen plans to partake in this dialog and hopes it will not be a problem for him and his three dogs to continue breeding.

City council will not be in session in august, so the debate will resume in the fall.