All Pets in Pet Stores Must Come From Shelters or Rescue Agencies, Says New California Law

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A new law passed in California will soon require all pet stores to get their puppies, kittens, and bunnies from shelters or rescues only—good news for almost everyone.

According to the New York Times, the bill, AB-485, is strongly supported by animal welfare organizations who want to prevent puppy mills and kitten breeding factories from pumping out teacup Maltipoos and thumbnail Persian kittens in inhumane conditions. Various cities in California have passed laws banning the sale of animals from puppy mills or other inhumane conditions, and have been working with shelters and other rescue agencies instead. This law is the first of its kind on a statewide level.


The bill’s passage into law is worrisome for pet store owners who want to somehow stay in business—they argue that the bill lumps responsible breeders in with puppy mill owners and that it might even make the underground network of animal breeding more successful, because people will do whatever it takes to get their hands on a AffenPoo for little Matinka or a pair of Teacup YorkiMalts.

Still, a fact sheet for the law makes a compelling case—if you weren’t already convinced—for doing away with breeders and puppy mills alike: “By offering puppies, kittens, and rabbits for adoption from nearby shelters, pet stores can save the lives of animals in search of a home, save the breeding animals trapped in puppy mills, and relieve pressure on county budgets and local tax payers.”

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