California bans pet stores from selling non-rescue animals

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law bill A.B. 485, making it illegal for pet stores to sell dogs, cats and rabbits from any source other than a shelter or rescue group.  The law will go into effect in 2019 and supporters have praised the move.  It is believed that a statewide ban on puppy mills will follow.           

The American Kennel Club is opposing the move, saying it will increase the likelihood that people purchase pets that are not a good match and end up leaving them in shelters. More than 200 cities and counties nationwide have similar protections, including 36 cities in California that had bans on puppy mills prior to this new law. The statewide ordinance will go into effect in 2019. 

For the sale of every animal that is not a rescue, pet stores will be fined $500.                 

Elena Bicker, executive director at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, told ABC News that the law is specifically targeting puppy mills.

“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," Bicker said. "California is setting the standard and elevating the status of pets in society by targeting the puppy mills and elevating shelter pets as a place in homes.”

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