A huge win for animal lovers, California passed a law prohibiting pet stores from selling animals obtained from anywhere but shelters and rescue centers. It’s the first statewide ban of its kind in the country and will go into effect in 2019.
Governor Jerry Brown last Friday signed the law bill A.B. 485, which will force pet stores to obtain dogs, cats, and rabbits from shelters and rescue groups. The bill is intended to limit the support of puppy mills, and increase adoption from shelters. This will lower euthanization rates and health problems which come from interbreeding purebreds.
Elena Bicker of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation spoke out on the subject, “the problem is puppy mills and this law is specifically targeting shutting down and not supporting puppies being manufactured in unsafe, unsociable, and horrific conditions.”
The law itself is not without controversy.
The American Kennel Club states, “it not only interferes with individual freedoms, it also increases the likelihood that a person will obtain a pet that is not a good match for their lifestyle and the likelihood that that animal will end up in a shelter.” Hmm. It sounds as though the American Kennel Club may have a bias toward purebred dogs.
Private breeders can, however, still sell breeds independently. So don’t worry AKC, you’ll still be able to buy purebred poodles in California.
The law itself is not unpopular. According to ABC News, “over 200 cities and counties already have ordinances like this.” When Albuquerque, New Mexico banned the sale of animals from puppy mills, animal adoptions rose 23% and euthanasia rates fell by 35%.
Sounds like it works! Congrats to California for looking out for the underdog (and cat, and rabbit).