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The City of Palm Springs will formally introduce a proposal tomorrow (July 11) that will ban all “backyard breeding”, defined as any breeding for a business or commercial purpose on residential property.

Those who reside or exhibit in Palm Springs are strongly encouraged to contact the city council TODAY and ask them to oppose the proposed ban on breeding in the city (Scroll down for contact information).

While this is a first reading, it is possible that the council could take action.  Therefore, it is essential that the city hear from concerned breeders and hobbyists IMMEDIATELY so they understand there is significant opposition to this proposal.


In 2015, the city passed a law banning the sale of all dogs and cats from pet stores unless the animal is sourced from a shelter, rescue, or licensed humane society.  A specific exemption was put in place for any “person or establishment that sells, delivers, offers for sale, barters, auctions, gives away, or otherwise transfers or disposes of only animals that were bred and reared on the premises of the person or establishment.”

This exemption allowed those who breed and raise animals in their homes to continue to do so and to sell, deliver, give away, etc. puppies they produced.

It is this exemption that is currently of concern to the council.  In an official city council staff report memo, it calls this exemption “a problematic loophole.”

What will this proposal change?

The staff memo provided to the council states the following: “This exemption effectively allows backyard breeding to occur; Palm Springs pet stores cannot sell dogs and cats commercially bred at a residentially zoned property, but the breeding activity itself is not prohibited.  To resolve this problem, the proposed ordinance makes changes to [the ordinance] as follows:

1. A new definition of “backyard breeding” is incorporated in [the ordinance]
2. A specific prohibition of backyard breeding is added
3. The loophole that allowed backyard breeding in the “exemption” is eliminated.

Essentially, this proposal would strike this exemption that protected home-based breeders and would ban what the city deems to be “backyard breeding”.  This is defined as “the breeding of dogs and/or cats for any business or commercial purpose on property zoned for residential occupancy.”

Based on this vague definition, and the broad range of activities that were included in the exemption that would be removed under this proposal, it is very likely under this proposal no one who breeds even one litter and sells, gives away or transfers a dog or puppy would be allowed to continue to do so.

This is particularly evident in the comments from the staff memo, which calls the current exemption a “loophole” and specifically highlights the need for the exemption to be removed.

It is also important to note that should this proposal pass, the city will essentially only be allowing dogs or cats to be acquired from rescues or shelters, which are often dogs of unknown health and temperament backgrounds that could result in significant issues for owners and the community as a whole.

Read AKC’s latest op-ed on the increasing problem of dogs being imported for rescue.  Also, review an op-ed written by AKC and the California Responsible Pet Owners Coalition that outlines the many concerns and problems with pet store bans and lack of regulation on rescues and shelters.

What You Can Do:

Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 11), the council will officially introduce this bill and could take action.  It is important for the council to understand immediately that there are significant concerns with this bill.

If you reside, have acquired a dog, or participated in dog events in Palm Springs, please express your opposition to the proposed ban on dog breeding.  If you are a breeder, let them know the steps you take to breed quality, healthy dogs and ensure they are placed in the ideal situations and homes.

AKC specifically requests that you do the following:

  • Attend the City Council Hearing Tomorrow:
    Wednesday, July 11, 2018
    6:00 pm
    Palm Springs Convention Center, Room Smoketree A-C
    277 N. Avenida Caballeros
    Palm Springs, CA 92262

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the beginning of the hearing, where each speaker will be allowed 2 minutes for comment. Please complete a speaker card upon arriving at the hearing in order to register to speak.  View the last page of the council agenda for directions, a map, and parking information.
  • Contact the Palm Springs City Council TODAY and express your concerns with the proposed ban on residential breeding:

Palm Springs City Council Contact Information: Phone: (760) 323-8200

Mayor Robert Moon –

Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Roberts-

Councilmember Geoff Kors-

Councilmember Lisa Middleton-

Councilmember Christy Hostege-

AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor this proposal and provide more information as it becomes available.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR’s Western Regional Analyst and Community Outreach Coordinator at (919) 816-3587 or