Eureka! California, First State To Mandate Pet Stores Sell Only Rescue Animals

Ground-breaking! California struck gold with this one!  Its legislature positioned the state as the first in the nation to require pet stores to sell rescue animals only. Jerry Brown is the first governor to protect ‘rescues’ by a means that sets the bar high for other states to follow. Now, in addition to obtaining rescues at animal shelters, prospective pet owners will be able to secure a rescue pet from pet stores, whether they be chain stores or independents.

Pet Rescue and Adoption Act

Assembly Bill 485 unanimously passed the California State Senate in September 2017 and will go into effect the first of January, 2019. This makes California officially the first state to ban puppy mills. The revised restrictions to previous legislation requires pet store owners to sell dogs, cats and rabbits from animal shelter, rescue groups and/or adoption centers -- not from any other sources.

According to the legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown October 13, stores will run the risk of fines up to $500 for the sale of an animal that is not a rescue.

Supported by the HSUS & ASPCA

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) widely support the legislation. Both organizations are in agreement the bill will ensure better treatment of animals, promote more rescue adoptions and prevent unnecessary animal deaths.

According to HSUS, irresponsible breeding leads to an estimated 1.5 million animals euthanized across the United States each year and puppy mills supply a shocking 99 percent of dogs sold in pet stores nationwide.


On the flipside, private pet storekeepers fear this bill will hurt their business and limit consumer access to  some of the more popular breeds.

However, in the eyes of animal rights activists, the new mandate represents a win for voiceless, defenseless pets. Many pet enthusiasts hope California’s law will inspire other states to follow suit. While a new pet can be a wonderful addition to a home, it’s important to keep the breeding process healthy, wholesome and humane.

Your thoughts, readers if your states are thinking of following suit with this groundbreaking legislation?

Primary Source: Assembly Bill 485






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