No new doggy do — town bans pet cosmetic surgery

Posted: Sunday, February 13, 2005

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Leaders in this community known for its progressive views are trying to ban cosmetic surgery — for pets.

Mayor John Duran introduced a motion Monday that would prohibit ear cropping, tail docking, debarking, defanging and other surgical procedures performed on animals for ''noncurative'' reasons.

Such procedures, supporters say, hurt the animals to satisfy their owners' tastes. Already law in many European countries, the ban would be the first of its kind in the United States, Duran said.

West Hollywood already has laws forbidding cat declawing and designating its residents as pet guardians rather than pet owners. Last year, the city started requiring pet-grooming companies to supply their customers with fresh water and report injuries related to grooming within 24 hours.

''We recognize we have an opportunity to provide leadership on public policy,'' said city council member Jeffrey Prang, who co-sponsored the motion. ''Somebody always has to be first. Animal welfare is something West Hollywood feels strongly about.''

If the measure passes, the city attorney will draft an ordinance that will become law 30 days after the city council gives final approval.

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