California Closes Pet Shop Doors to Commercial Breeders

Shelter animals in California just got a huge helping hand from lawmakers in Sacramento. The Golden State has become the first in the nation to ban the sale of commercially bred pets in pet stores. By January 1, 2019, stores in California will be prohibited from selling any dog, cat, or rabbit unless the animal was obtained from a shelter, rescue group, or public animal control agency. Pet stores will be required to maintain and display records documenting the source of each animal for sale.

The legislation (AB 485) was authored by Assemblymembers Patrick O’Donnell and Matt Dababneh. After passing the Assembly by an overwhelming 55-11 margin in May, it fared even better in the Senate—where it sailed through in a unanimous 38-0 September vote. On October 13, Governor Jerry Brown signed it into law. Following the Senate vote, Asm. O’Donnell thanked his Senate colleagues for their vote and for “defending the voiceless,” adding that “AB 485 gives so many shelter animals the chance to find their forever homes, while simultaneously cutting off the outlet for puppy mill animals into our state.”

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