On Oct.16, the Burbank City Council has the opportunity to express compassion for animals while still supporting local businesses. It is poised to vote into law a proposed ordinance to ban the sale of dogs in pet stores. This show of leadership will echo in the halls of other council chambers throughout the country. It is time the city of Burbank joins other forerunners in adopting the new business model that does not discourage profit for pet stores, but at the same time, no longer turns a blind eye to what is really being supported in the name of business as usual.

Pet store owners in Burbank, and other cities across the nation, need to fully realize that the supply of healthy, good-tempered, highly trainable and salable dogs is staggeringly plentiful in shelters and through rescue organizations. All breeds are available and most of those animals ended up homeless through no fault of their own. It is past time to look away and pretend we don't understand where the dogs come from to be sold in most stores; the torture of puppy mills is no longer the sordid secret it once was. Helpless dogs used as breeding machines, never touching grass under their feet, living out their days without a loving human touch or the benefit of basic dignities should not be tolerated in a humane society.

To Burbank council members: Please take a stand that says to pet stores selling dogs under the guise that they are pedigreed stock, “enough is enough.” Please vote to place a premium on a compassionate business plan that can also be financially feasible.

Caryn Casey

Burbank