California is trailblazing a movement that puts animal rights first, and we couldn’t be more excited. As of January 1, California has banned pet stores from selling puppies, kittens, and rabbits that aren’t sourced safely. In other words, the law cracks down on breeding mills.
The law insists that pet stores sell only animals that come from shelters or rescue groups. While similar laws are already in place in other countries, California is the first state in the US to adopt such a policy.
The law is a major step in recognizing the terrible conditions that animals sold in pet stores usually come from. Breeding mills often raise animals in inhumane and unhealthy conditions, resulting in sick pets being sold to families around the country. Such breeding facilities do not take the safety or health of dogs, cats, and rabbits into consideration and instead look at animals solely as sources of profit.
Furry friends in the state of California have a big reason to celebrate this year.
As of January 1, pet stores in California can sell only animals that come from rescue groups, animal control agencies, or animal shelters.
California governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 485 into law in October 2017. It gave pet stores until January 1, 2019, to become compliant.
The law specifies where pet stores can obtain the animals that they sell. It reads: “A pet store operator shall not sell a live dog, cat, or rabbit in a pet store unless the dog, cat, or rabbit was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group that is in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter pursuant to [specific statutes].”
The law also requires that pet stores keep records of where each animal comes from and provide those records to potential owners.
The law is designed to keep puppy mills, kitten factories, and other similar facilities from mistreating and overbreeding animals for profit.
It also aims to reduce the $250 million in tax dollars that go toward housing and euthanizing unwanted animals in California each year.
A similar measure recently passed in the United Kingdom, showing that people all around the world are taking animal rights more seriously than ever before.
Some Californians expressed concern that the bill would make purebred animals more difficult to come by. The bill does state that individuals can continue to purchase pets from breeders if they choose.
Many are excited at the possibility that the law will bring more animals to forever homes without them suffering in the interim.
There are still a few questions people wish to have cleared up. This Twitter user questioned whether pet stores would be able to accommodate the special needs that some rescue animals have.
As more former pet store employees come forward with stories of inadequate treatment for animals, the concern is justified. California officials are hoping that increased oversight will eliminate this issue as well.
Many pet owners also celebrated the news by sharing the stories of their own rescued pets.
Hopefully, this law will help more animals find their forever homes and save thousands of animals from lifetimes of suffering and sickness. We’re eager to see which state will adopt the policy next.