California Becomes 1st State to Ban Retail Sales of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits

By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter

December 29, 2018

California will become first state to ban retail sales of dogs and cats

California will become the first state to ban retail sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits unless they come from a rescue operation after a new state law goes into effect on Jan. 1. 

Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 485 back in October, which implements strict new rules on pet stores across the state. Retailers will be banned from selling live dogs, cats, or rabbits unless the animals were obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter. Pet stores are also allowed to partner with a humane society group, society for prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or rescue group that works with at least one private or public shelter. 

The bill also requires retailers to maintain records that document where each dog, cat or rabbit was obtained and make those records available to public animal control agencies or shelters in the area. 

Retailers found to be violating the law can be fined up to $500. 

Lawmakers hope the bill will prevent animals bred in mass-breeding facilities, also known as puppy mills, from coming into the state.

Companion Animal Protection Society President Deborah Howard wrote the bill is needed to prevent "further inhumane treatment in mills ... that mass-produce puppies and kittens for resale in pet shops and online." 

"By its very nature, the pet shop and puppy/kitten mill industry creates an endless cycle of animal overpopulation, mistreatment, and consumer deceit, causing needless shelter euthanasia and costing defrauded consumers millions of dollars each year," Howard wrote in testimony submitted to Sacramento in support of AB 485. 

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