In accordance with various philanthropic laws California has been passing, a new bill was announced on January 1, 2019, banning the sale of animals from commercial breeding factories. The bill made California one of the first states to prohibit the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits unless they are rescue animals or come from shelters.
According to ABC 7 News, the law was instituted to cut down on the infamous puppy mills, as well as to reduce the $250 million spending on euthanization of shelter pets each year.
Puppy mills are large-scale breeding facilities where dogs are subject to poor conditions, such as living in small cages. Animals sold in pet stores often come from these mills, which are still legal in the United States. As law enforcement and animal rights groups begin to crack down on puppy mills, some owners switch to large-scale kitten breeding instead.
“Puppy mills are terrible because they excessively breed dogs, which are often malnourished and mistreated. [The puppies] end up having genetic problems,” Kaitlyn Masone (’21) said.
California is taking steps to get rid of this inhumane practice by passing legislation that bans sales of non-rescue pets. Store owners will face penalties of $500 per animal if they cannot provide records of origin, which are subject for review periodically by shelters or animal control agencies. Stores cannot buy from private buyers, but individuals still retain the ability to do so, as stated by CNN. The law does not prohibit the private breeding of animals-it bans stores from buying from these breeders.
According to U.S.News, California’s restriction is to be enacted on the entire state, but the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of San Francisco estimates that there are approximately 200 other towns with similar restrictions in place. Maryland also banned the sales of cats and dogs, and Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey are working on their own legislation.
Critics say that the new law hinders breeders’ businesses, but Pasadena Star-News argues otherwise, saying that “the new law doesn’t affect the livelihood of truly responsible breeders because they don’t sell to pet stores in the first place.”
“It’s a good idea to ban the sales of pets from breeders in stores because there are too many animals in need of adoption,” Christian De Simone (’20) said.
According to the ASPCA, 1.5 million shelter pets are euthanized each year of the 6.5 million that enter shelters annually. By banning sales of breeder-bought pets, what California and these other states intend to do is limit demand for puppy mills and kitten factories, and get more shelter pets adopted.
“I adopted my dog because while we were searching for a dog we found his litter in a shelter and thought that one of these dogs was as good as any from a store,” Cole Cooper (’20) said.
States banning the commercial selling of pets is the first step in abolishing puppy mills and kitten factories, as well as increasing adoption rates of shelter pets.