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Huge Win for Animal Rights Activists in California Pet Stores

by | January 7, 2019

This week in a huge win for animal rights activists, California became the first state in the country to implement a law banning pet stores from selling cats, dogs, and rabbits, unless they’ve come from a shelter or a rescue group.

Huge Win for Animal Rights Activists in California Pet Stores
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Huge Win for Animal Rights Activists in California Pet Stores

The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act was introduced by assembly member Patrick O’Donnell, and signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown in October 2017. Under the law, individuals are still able to buy cats, dogs, and rabbits from private breeders, but stores are prohibited from doing so. The rules only came into effect now in order to give pet stores some time to get their businesses ready to comply. There were already regulations in place in some counties in California, but now this rule applies to the whole state. Pet store owners and operators who do not comply will face a fine of $500 per animal. This is being seen as a huge win for animal rights activists in California, who have long been advocating for such a ban.

The law was brought in to stop the disgusting practices of puppy mills and kitten factories, where animals are often overcrowded and treated inhumanely in unsanitary conditions, with little to no concern for animal rights.

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A fact sheet for the act says that pet store owners aren’t always aware of the conditions the animals they buy are kept in, because they’re usually one step removed from the breeding process.

In an interview on Wednesday, vice president for state affairs of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Kevin O’Neill said that California’s legislation has somewhat opened up the possibility of other states following the trend.

O’Donnell has said the law is a “big win for our four-legged friends” and taxpayers as well, who he said spent more than $250 million a year to house and euthanize shelter animals.

The law also states that each pet store has to maintain sufficient records that document the source of each animal that they’re selling for at least one year. This information needs to be posted clearly and readily available for animal control, shelters, and the public to view. Animal rights activists are hoping that other states would also follow suit and impose this ban nationwide.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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