Soon, All Pet Stores in California May Only Sell Shelter Animals

Soon, All Pet Stores in California May Only Sell Shelter Animals

California is on track to become the first state to prohibit pet stores from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits from breeders and puppy mills, thanks to Assembly Bill 485, also known as the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act.

The bill, co-authored by Assemblymembers Patrick O’Donnell and Matt Dababneh, passed 55-11 in the California Assembly earlier this summer and unanimously through the state senate last week. Animal activist organization Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) helped create the bill and push for its passage.

AB 485 now only requires Governor Jerry Brown’s signature to become law. Brown has until Oct. 15 to decide whether to sign or veto all state bills.

The bills’ aim is to crack down on puppy mills and animal breeders who prioritize profit over animals’ welfare. Puppy mills breed an estimated 2 million dogs each year, and confine them to wire cages or outdoor pens up to 24 hours a day without adequate food, shelter or veterinary care. Although the largest concentration of puppy mills is in the Midwest (Missouri has the most puppy mills in the United States), America is home to 10,000 puppy mills nationwide.

Lady Freethinker spoke with SCIL’s president and founder, Judie Mancuso, after the bill passed in the state assembly. She affirmed that “it’s time to put an end to euthanizing pets in shelters and allowing the revolving door of cruelty from Midwest puppy mills to our local pet shops.”

Nonprofit organizations rescue innumerable animals each year from cruelty at the hands of breeders, puppy mills and irresponsible owners. On top of these, people who are no longer able or willing to care for their dogs or cats leave the animals at shelters, who often never find new homes for the abandoned pets. Each year, around 6.5 million dogs and cats enter various shelters nationwide. Of those, only 3.2 million are adopted — and 1.5 million are euthanized.

If you’re looking to add a lifelong companion to your family, search for animal shelters in your area instead of buying from commercial breeders. You may very well end up saving your new best friend’s life!

Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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  1. coreen kerr

    That is great news but…what will happen to the animals from the puppy mills the people that run them are evil enough to kill of the animals if they can’t sell them?

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    • Rachael

      That’s what I was thinking too. I’m so glad this is happening but I’m worried about the animals in the mills themselves. The people who run those places couldn’t care less about the animals, they only care about money. I hope there is some type of oversite that will ensure their safety? But I doubt it. I also don’t understand why this isn’t happening everywhere. I really hope this happens in all states.

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      • Betsy

        As the demand for their product decreases, puppy mill operators will most likely sell their breeding stock at auction. There are rescue groups who attend these events to give comfortable retirement to as many puppy mill survivors as they can. While I normally hate to see any money given to puppy millers, if dogs are offered in a dispersal auction, meaning the miller is selling all and no longer breeding, it’s wonderful for the dogs to go into rescues.

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        • Rachael Markson

          Thanks Betsy..I didn’t realize that. I hope to see all mills shutdown. Glad to know about this.

    • wendell

      this is just for california. all of the other states will still be buying from puppy mills so the mills will not be shut down…. yet. as the mills start closing, rescue groups like best friends animal society will hopefully be able to rescue the breeding dogs.

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  2. Judi Merrow

    I agree it is about time. Should be everywhere. I live in Canada and would love to see that law here. I work with a shelter and about 6 years ago they along with the police they raided a puppy mill. There was 60 small breed dogs. The shape they were in was disgusting to say the least. I took a apricot French poodle to foster. She was one of the scariest dogs I have every seen in my life. She didn’t what the grass was or outside noises She didn’t know what treats were or any idea how to play with toys or what my cats were. For the first couple of days she basically stated in a corner and shook. Then all of a sudden I guess she realized that she wouldn’t be scolded for anything and there was no cages here. I failed at Fostering 101 and became her mom for good and adopted her. Ginger became my best friend for 5 years and then she passed over the Rainbow Bridge. I miss her everyday. Ginger is with my other furbabies, playing and romping having a great time.

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    • Andrew Reiff

      You did the best job … just by taking Ginger away and giving her a loving home; that’s what she knew & felt loved & safe for the last years of her life. I know you miss Her and she’s OK now with Her new friends…
      We may see all of our passed Pups one day … @ That Bridge. How Spectacular that would be***! I can think of 11 beloved & passed dogs I’ve had since 1971. I have pictures of them all and even a few still up and in frames.
      The 4 Pups we have now are loved & cherished every second of every day. The ones gone are often thought about & talked
      about. This is the way …*! Have no regrets. Just keep on loving as many as possible.

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  3. Jacquelin OKane

    Please please someone tell me how we can do this in all states???

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    • wendell

      everyone should call governor brown’s office in support of him signing the bill.

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  4. Judy

    This is a super idea and I wish all 50 states would get this through and stop the puppy mills and start adopting all of the animals already available.

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  5. Dean

    Long overdue common sense legislation that doesn’t stand a chance in hell, until a whole lot more people elect a whole lot more Democrats to pass it and a whole lot more, so that the bigot sheep can finally be dragged kicking and screaming and, if necessary, clubbed senseless into a bright and shiny peaceful new world for everybody else!

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  6. Leanne

    I am glad that something is being done about this. It’s about time. Allowing pet shops to sell only animals from the shelrers will help relieve overcrowding and give those animals a better chance of going to a loving forever home. That said though there are plenty of highly reputable breeders out there who get a bad rep because of those evil puppy mills. Unfortunately shutting down existing puppy mills won’t make the problem go away as they will just open up somewhere else or new ones will spring up to take their place.

    Reply Report comment

    I am so incredibly relieved to hear this and commend everyone who is involved in making this happen. God bless you exceedingly. The worst scenario for those who are left behind is death, but is that not “better” than their present existence ? Having said that, I am praying that Americans will show their compassion and adopt as many as possible. I am a South African and horrified at the cruel devastation that is taking place with domestic as well as wildlife, in my own country.

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