Last week, the #AdoptDon’tShop movement claimed one of its largest victories so far in the United States. By Jan. 1, 2019, all California pet stores will only be allowed to sell rescued cats, dogs and rabbits, rather than pets bought from breeders, according to the New York Times. Stores can be fined up to $500 for every animal on sale that is not a rescue animal.
The legislation was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown, making CA the first state to pass a statewide law like this. (Several cities across the country have already passed similar rules.) The bill passed through CA’s Senate and Assembly with widespread approval from politicians, but the law was received with mixed reactions by people it will affect.
Animal welfare groups largely applauded the move. Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told Business Insider:
“This landmark law breaks the puppy mill supply chain that pushes puppies into California pet stores and has allowed unscrupulous breeders to profit from abusive practices.”
Other groups, including Best Friends Animal Society and the Humane Society of the United States, also applauded the new regulation. Supporters of the law hope that it will help end business for “puppy mills” and “kitten factories,” which often breed pets in inhumane conditions and mass quantities, leading to health problems and genetic conditions later on.
However, some pet store owners called the law misguided, pointing out that people may not want to adopt animals with an unknown history.
“It takes the freedom of choice from people who want to get a puppy,” Ben Ashel, who owns a pet store in California, told the Times. “They don’t want to get someone else’s unwanted dog or something of that nature.”
Individuals will still be able to buy pets from breeders without repercussions. And if it is successful in California, the United States just might see similar laws spread across the country.
What do you think of this legislation on pet shops?