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Bill to end retail sale of dogs, cats, rabbits in California advances

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Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-08 21:08:22-04

(KGTV) — A bill that aims to end the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in California is heading to the state Senate.

Assembly Bill 2152, known as "Bella’s Act," would prohibit the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits, but still allow stores to partner with rescues and shelters for adoption events. The bill also stops pet stores from receiving any money from adoption transactions or from using the store or its resources in connection with adoption events.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who introduced Bella's Act in February, said the bill is meant to crack down on those who got around the first attempt by the state.

"When we have animals in California who are still being bred and raised in unhealthy and inhumane conditions for profit, we cannot turn a blind eye," Gloria said in a release earlier this year. "Bella’s Act will fulfill our promise to end the inhumane puppy mill industry by officially prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in California and encouraging pet retailers to partner with rescue groups and shelters. We will no longer continue to facilitate or tolerate puppy mill cruelty in California."

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California's earlier attempt to stop puppy and cat mills, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, was enacted to make sure stores don't sell dogs or cats from breeders and instead partner with rescue groups.

Unfortunately, some stores, including several in San Diego County, and questionable rescue groups skirted that law by importing animals from out of state in "puppy laundering" schemes.