San Diego area pet shop owners are left with their tails between their legs after Friday’s preliminary court ruling regarding the city’s ban on puppy mills.

Owners of pet stores and the City of San Diego have been fighting like cats and dogs for months over a recent citywide ordinance that prohibits the sale of commercially-bred pets.

Only two pet shops were affected by the ordinance, but they responded by taking the city to court. The plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought a temporary restraining order and shield from the law’s effects until legal proceedings played out in court.

Passed in July and supported by animal-rights activists, the ordinance bans pet stores from displaying, selling, delivering, offering for sale, bartering, auctioning, giving away or otherwise transferring or disposing of dogs, cats and rabbits within the city. Pet stores in operation were given a six months’ notice to cease and desist all such activities.

The city ordinance exempts animal shelters, nonprofit organizations and animal breeders who raise pets on their own property.

Over 30 U.S. cities have similar laws on the books, including Los Angeles.

Read the full article at the U-T San Diego.