A new year means new laws for the state of California. Originally approved in October of 2017 by Governor Jerry Brown, a new state law will go into place on January 1, 2019 that requires all pet stores to get dogs, cats, and rabbits from rescue organizations rather than breeders.
This makes the state the first to implement these rules for pet stores.
Under California's AB 485 law, all pet stores also must maintain records for each animal, including a sign that lists the name of the shelter that the animal was obtained. Stores that violate the new law will be subjected to a fine of $500.
Individuals in California, however, can still buy from private breeders.
Steve MacKinnon, San Diego Humane Society Law Enforcement Chief, told NBC 7 San Diego’s Steven Luke, “It takes the emphasis off the profit of animals and puts the emphasis back on caring for and getting these cats and dogs a good home.”
A fact sheet on AB 485 describes “puppy mills” and “kitten factories” as “commercial breeding facilities that mass produce animals for sale to the public, primarily through retail pet stores.”
There has been some opposition to the law since it was passed, including from the American Kennel Club.
In a statement on their website, Phil Guidry stated, “AB 485 will dramatically reduce every Californian’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health backgrounds that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.”
“They just want to start fresh with a puppy, and this law makes it very, very difficult,” Ben Ashel, owner of Puppy Haven in Agoura Hills, California, told The New York Times.
Before the bill was passed, 36 cities in California already had bans on mass-breeding. AB 485 will enforce these policies statewide.