California Becomes First State To Ban Puppy Mill Sales At Pet Stores

Gov. Jerry Brown made California the first state in the nation to ban pet store sales of commercially bred cats, rabbits, and dogs that come from puppy mills, and instead sell only rescued animals.

The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, which was signed into law on Friday, is being hailed as breakthrough legislation that should serve as an example for the rest of the country.

The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, AB 485, goes into effect on January 1, 2019. From that point on, no pet store will be allowed to sell a cat, dog, or rabbit, unless it 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.”

The Los Angeles Times reports, “The bill, AB 485, is aimed at reducing the number of animals in shelters and businesses with mass breeding operations, known as “puppy mills” or “kitten factories.”

California Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, (D-Long Beach) sponsored the bill, saying the issue was “very personal” to him, as the owner of two rescued dogs.

The American Kennel Club and California Retailers Association were against the measure, claiming that the law stopped Californians from buying pets from licensed professional breeders. However, that is not true. AB 485 only applies to pet store sales and does not prevent anyone from buying an animal through direct sales from breeders.

According to ASPCA data, each year, approximately 6.5 million unwanted pets end up in shelters. Out of those, some 1.5 million are euthanized because they are unable to find homes.

Rescued animals purchased through California pets stores will also be required to be spayed or neutered, to further reduce the number of unwanted pets that end up shelters.

While the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act will not completely solve the problem of animals in need of loving, forever homes, it will go a long way toward ending the misery these homeless animals face. It will also send a strong signal to people who run puppy and kitten mills. People who care about animals don’t breed them irresponsibly in inhumane conditions for nothing but greed and profit.

Featured image: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Be part of the solution. Call Congress at (202) 224-3121, or contact your representative online at and

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About Tobin 249 Articles
Tobin is a political junkie and animal rights advocate who believes that if people can stand on line to buy junk food, they should also be able to stand on line to vote. Tobin is the author of "Afterlife: The Journey of a Dog's Spirit" now available on

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