New California Law Is The First Of Its Kind Banning The Sale Of Animals From Breeders At Pet Stores Statewide

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What better way to start the new year than helping give shelter pets a voice? We think so too!

The state of California is ringing in the new year by banning the sale of puppies, kittens and rabbits that come from commercial breeders at pet stores.

Instead, the only pets for sale in those windows will now be that of rescue animals from local animal shelters or rescue groups.

As the first state in the nation to pass this legendary law, they hope that others will soon follow suit. California Governor Jerry Brown signed this act into law back in October of 2017, a gap meant to give pet store operators time to prepare their businesses for compliance.

Pet store owners who do not comply to the new law will face fines of $500/animal illegally sold, and although people can still purchase a pet from a breeder directly, this is a huge win for rescue animals in California.

“This was California’s way of saying, ‘We don’t think it’s cool for commercial breeders to put more and more animals in the world who have a lot of health and behavior issues,” says Jack Hagerman, Vice President for Communications at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.

Pet store owners have a tendency to turn a blind eye towards the living conditions in which many breeders inflict upon their “pets” made solely for profit, and there are so many beautiful animals waiting to find their forever homes at local rescues and shelters.

Thanks to this new law, and the foundation in which it was built upon, this is putting a necessary cap on the demand for puppy, cat and rabbit mills in California.

According to a fact sheet for the legislation, A.B. 485:

“Pet store operators: dogs, cats, and rabbits.
Existing law requires pet store operators, as defined, to comply with laws governing, among other things, the care of animals in pet stores. The existing law makes a pet store operator who violates these provisions guilty of a misdemeanor, under certain conditions. [It] also regulates the retail sale of dogs and cats.

Existing law requires an animal control officer, a humane officer, or a peace officer who detects any of certain violations of the laws governing pet store operators to issue a single notice to correct the violation, except as specified. Existing law makes a pet store operator who fails to comply with a notice to correct, or who violates the laws regulating pet store operators, as specified, guilty of a crime.

Photo property of Cat Man Chris

We hope 2019 is just the beginning of this to become effective in the legal system across the world. 

This bill would prohibit, on and after January 1, 2019, a pet store operator from selling 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, as defined, that is in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter, as specified. The bill would require all sales of dogs and cats authorized by this provision to be in compliance with laws requiring the spaying or neutering of animals, as specified. 

[This] would require each pet store to maintain records sufficient to document the source of each dog, cat, or rabbit the pet store sells or provides space for, for at least one year, and to post, in a conspicuous location on the cage or enclosure of each animal, a sign listing the name of the entity from which each dog, cat, or rabbit was obtained, and would authorize public animal control agencies or shelters to periodically require pet stores engaged in sales of dogs, cats, or rabbits to provide access to those records.”

Photo courtesy of Purrfect Cat Rescue Inc

Thankfully there would be repercussions for those who break the law. 

“The bill would make a pet store operator who violates these provisions subject to a civil penalty of $500, as specified. [It] would also exempt a pet store operator who is subject to these provisions from certain requirements relating to the retail sale of dogs and cats, except as specified.
Existing law authorizes a public or private shelter to enter into cooperative agreements with animal rescue or adoption organizations regarding dogs and cats.
This bill would authorize a public or private shelter to enter into cooperative agreements with animal rescue or adoption organizations regarding rabbits that are equivalent to the cooperative agreements authorized regarding dogs and cats described above.”

If you ask us, we think this law needs to be made nationwide, and hopefully in our lifetime we can see that made into a reality. Way to go, Golden State!


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  1. Breeders can still sell directly to consumers, which allows the public to view on site and see the conditions their animals live.
    If pet stores wanted to self regulate, they could have. Most pet stores that deal with various pets make little money selling dogs and cats. They make more from selling supplies. The pet stores that will go out of business are the ones who focus on selling puppies from puppy Mills.

  2. It’s a good start but not enough . It needs to be a felony. People need to know that abusing animals is serious . Not a minor inconvenience to get a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are nothing to some people. These are major problems not minor problems.

  3. But to simply regulate them would mean that we aren’t putting a stop to something wrong. With so many rescue animals being left behind because people often prefer purebred animals, this makes it so anyone who really wants those animals can go straight to the source, not where they overshadow those in need.

  4. I love it I think all states I think the world should do this this is wonderful thank God somebody thought about this

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Written by Modi Ramos

Crazy cat lady since birth and lover of all things feline. Owner of CattitudeDaily and former Editor of iHeartCats. Meow!

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