California Set to Become the First State to Ban the Sale of Non-Rescue Animals in Pet Shops

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California Set to Become the First State to Ban the Sale of Non-Rescue Animals in Pet Shops

Sierra Hurson, Journalist

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On January 1st, AB 485 will take effect in California. This new law bans the sale of non-rescue animals in pet stores across the state. This means that animals, such as cats, dogs, and rabbits, can only be sourced by retailers from animal shelters, not breeders.

Animal rights groups strongly support the passage of this legislation, saying that it is a step towards a movement against “puppy mills” and “kitten factories”. These groups also claim that the current breeding industry and its support from pet stores can lead to harmful effects on the animals, such as physical and emotional health problems and inhumane treatment. The law also requires pet shops to keep record of where they obtain each animal from in order for authorities to hold them accountable. A $500 fine will be issued to businesses that fail to comply with this new policy. This law, however, does not affect transactions between breeders and owners, which will lessen the effects that this bill has on the issue.

Some pet shop owners have concerns that this law will put them at risk of going out of business and that they will lose much of their profit. The American Kennel Club has also voiced opposition to this bill, saying that it limits pet owners. Despite negative pushback, the California legislature is confident in the impact this legislation will have on the animal rescue community. Regardless of what the legislation will do in practice, with the passage of AB 485, California is setting an important precedent in terms of animal rights and increasing awareness for animal rescue across the country.