Hooray! We have some amazing news for you that’s sure to brighten up your day.
Last week on Friday, October 13th, California adopted a law that says that all dogs, cats, and rabbits sold in pet stores must come from shelters or non-profit rescue centers. They can no longer come from puppy mills or private breeders.
This means that every pet that you see in California in a pet store is a pup ready to be rescued and welcomed into their forever home!
Read also: “8 Dog Adopting Tips and Tricks You Need To Know“
Puppy mills and kitten factories, according to the AB 485 fact sheet, are “commercial breeding factories that mass produce animals to the public”, and have terrible living conditions for the animals. Cages are small and dirty and the animals are cramped, which can lead to a variety of health complications down the road, even after adoption. It’s inhumane and pretty terrible. In short, puppy mills and kitten factories are bad. Especially when there are so many loving and wonderful pets looking for homes that are currently in shelters!
The bill was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and is formally known as bill AB 485. California is the first state in the nation to adopt this bill, and we at Digital Doggy couldn’t be happier! California taxpayers are currently spending approximately a quarter of a billion dollars on animal shelters: their upkeep, food, and medicine for the dogs. This financial burden could be alleviated by requiring those who are looking to adopt a pet to opt for rescues over dogs that come from puppy mills or breeders. Not only does it relieve pressure from the shelters, but it also helps California taxpayers! Sounds like a win-win to us. The bill was authored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D. Long Beach), who has a close personal bond with the bill. In an article from the New York Daily News, he said, “This is a big win for our four-legged friends, of course, but also for California taxpayers who spend more than $250 million annually to house and euthanize animals in our shelters. I am very grateful for the strong support we received from animal-lovers across the state and from Social Compassion in Legislation — the bill’s sponsor.” O’Donnell himself has two rescue dogs and says the issue is “very personal” to him.
But not everyone is happy about the bill. Many pet stores have strong oppositions to the new law, citing that having pets come from shelters limits the type of dog that is available for adoption. If a pet owner is looking for a specific breed to fit their lifestyle, that breed might not be available. Pet stores are worried that their stores will go out of business as a result. The bill does not stop people from buying directly from breeders, and some are concerned that this move will increase direct purchases from breeders.
Still, we think it’s a step in the right direction and despite the opposition, the bill will go into effect on January 1st, 2019. The penalties for breaking this law can go as high as $500 per pet. What do you think about the new law? Let us know in the comments below because we love hearing from you! And be sure to sign up for our Digital Doggy newsletter to get great news like this delivered right to your inbox!