California outlaws sale of 'puppy mill' dogs, cats, rabbits in pet stores

Posted at 6:06 PM, Oct 13, 2017

(KGTV) - The push to outlaw the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits bred in "puppy mills" has been signed into law in California.

Governor Jerry Brown Friday signed into law Assembly Bill 485, also known as the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, requiring California pet stores to only sell dogs, cats, and rabbits obtained from animal shelters or non-profit rescue organizations.

Pet store owners who violate the ordinances could be fined $500. The law goes into effect January 1, 2019.

RELATED: California bill fighting puppy mills heads to Governor's desk

The act also requires pet stores to provide documentation of the source of each animal for at least a year and post that location on the animal's pet store enclosure.

The bill's author, Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell (D - Long Beach), said the law is a win for both animals and Californians.

"This is a big win for our four-legged friends, of course," O’Donnell said in a statement. "But also for California taxpayers who spend more than $250 million annually to house and euthanize animals in our shelters. I am very grateful for the strong support we received from animal-lovers across the state and from Social Compassion in Legislation, the bill’s sponsor."

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California is now the first state in the country to enact a law banning the sale of commercially-bred dogs, cats, and rabbits.

San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco already enforce their own laws against the sale of non-rescued dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores.