Animal Advocates

California Bill Bans Retail Sale of Non-Rescue Dogs & Cats Across Entire State

It’s official! California Governor Jerry Brown signed a groundbreaking bill that, lawmakers hope, will finally put an end to the cruel practice of commercial dog, cat, and rabbit breeding in the state.

Following in the highly successful footsteps of 35 cities across the state, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and, most recently, San Francisco, California lawmakers voted in a remarkable 38 to 0 victory to pass a bill that would ban the sale of non-rescued dogs, cats, and rabbits in retail stores statewide.

Bill 485, commonly known as the Pet Rescue & Adoption Act, makes it unlawful for retail stores to sell dogs, cats, or rabbits unless the animal was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, SPCA shelter, Humane Society Shelter, or other 501(c)(3) rescue organization.

The bill, which was designed to target puppy mills and backyard breeders, and also to cut down on the vast number of animals that are euthanized in California shelters every year, promises to deliver a blow to the puppy mill industry based on huge success in Los Angeles.

“Most Californians agree that we need to put the brakes on the mass breeding of animals who end up in local shelters, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to care for and eventually euthanize,” said Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). “AB 485 will take the puppy mills out of pet stores and give shelter animals a better chance of being adopted.”

Under the new law, individuals can still buy animals from licensed breeders, but retails shops can not sell them – they are only permitted to adopt out animals that come from shelters, Humane Societies and registered rescue groups.

After the unanimous decision by legislators to pass the bill last month, it was sent to California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for a signature. As expected, Governor Brown signed the bill into law, effective January 1, 2019.

California Assembly Bill 485 amends the state’s Food and Agricultural Code and Health and Safety Code relating to public health. On and after January 1, 2019, pet store operators will be prohibited from selling any live dog, cat or rabbit in a pet store unless the animal 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. Pet stores will be required to maintain records that document the source of each animal it sells for at least one year, and to post on the cage or enclosure of each animal, a sign that lists the name of the entity from which each animal was obtained. Public animal control agencies and shelters will be authorized to periodically review those records. Pet store operators who violate the bill’s provisions will be subject to a civil penalty of $500.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Dianne

    Sep 21, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    This law will do NOTHING to stop substandard breeders. Pet Store puppies, kittens and rabbits come from commercial breeders who are already highly regulated and inspected.

    This bill is being pushed by the radical Animal Rights Groups as a way to limit consumer choice and dictate to legitimate business what they can and can't sell in their stores. They would rather take away your choice to the dog that might be right for your family that comes from licensed and inspected sources and come with consumer protections (CA Puppy Lemon Law). Instead, they want to continue to push the "adopt, don't shop" mantra and bring in dogs from unknown, unregulated sources. There is a huge demand for "meat dogs" from China, street dogs from 3rd World Countries, etc that are bringing in all sorts of disease (H3N2 Dog Flu) and parasites. There is little to no oversight on these dogs and NO consumer protections should these dogs become sick (Lemon Law does not apply).

    Don't be fooled. Even the photo used in this article is fake. It's not even of a breeder's kennel in the US. It's from China and I'm unsure of the context of the photo.

    • Lois

      Oct 27, 2017 at 12:58 am

      I agree with you!

    • Winter

      Nov 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      I agree. This law is so crazy. It basically bans the sale of any dog that was bred–even under the most humane, documented, regulated conditions. But don’t worry pure-breed dog fans, the “rescue” organizations will steal puppies from breeders and then charge you for “adopting” it. Same dogs, but since it’s a “rescue,” they’ll be allowed in California.

      • Brandy Arnold

        Nov 13, 2017 at 9:04 pm

        It only bans the sale of non-rescued puppies in retail stores. People can still purchase puppies directly from responsible breeders.

  2. Darlene

    Sep 17, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Would love to see this law for all animals. In all states.

  3. Elle

    Sep 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    The rescue dog business is booming and people are too blind to see it. Lots of money being made especially when there's thousands of foreign 'rescue dogs' being brought in that displace local adoptions. Want to reduce euthanasia rates in shelters? Well then stop allowing the import of 'rescue dogs' from other coutntries not to mention the disease and parasite issues !
    Why anyone would think it's acceptable baffles me. For each imported dog that arrives, one LOCAL adoption dog is displaced and guess what? Euthanized !

    I've worked in shelters and I will tell you straight up – the mandate is to make money. It's a business …

  4. Terri Morley

    Sep 17, 2017 at 3:07 am

    So I'm processing the biggest picture I can see. Who monitors the pet stores? The way it is written sounds like these pets would have a micro chip in them at time of entering a pet shop?

  5. Francine Cordone

    Sep 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Would love it in New York State and then all over the USA and then the World.
    Wouldn't that be nice?

  6. Luisa D'Angelo

    Sep 14, 2017 at 4:01 am

    It's a fantastic idea!

  7. Dorene

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I certainly would! This should of been a law a long time ago!

  8. Milanne Rehor

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Absolutely support, nationwide, long long overdue.

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