Capitol Alert

Pet stores could sell only rescue animals under bill headed to Jerry Brown

Dogs descend on California Capitol to lobby for crackdown on puppy mills

Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell leads a press conference in support of Assembly Bill 485, which requires dogs, cats or rabbits sold at stores to come from rescues or shelters.
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Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell leads a press conference in support of Assembly Bill 485, which requires dogs, cats or rabbits sold at stores to come from rescues or shelters.

California pet stores could sell dogs, cats and rabbits only from animal shelters or rescue organizations if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a measure sent to him on Thursday.

Assembly Bill 485, by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, aims to crack down on “puppy mills” and other breeding facilities where animals are mass-produced for retail sale, often in poor conditions. More than 30 cities, including Sacramento, have already adopted local restrictions on selling commercially bred animals.

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, said her hometown passed an ordinance several years ago after hearing from a pet store owner that “no reputable breeder will breed an animal and then sell it to a pet store put in a window and be sold off to who knows who, maybe to end up later in a pound.”

“Given the number of very adoptable, very lovable, very cute, very noble dogs and cats that we have in shelters all across the state,” she said, ‘let’s focus on finding homes for those animals and not on encouraging the horrible trade of dogs and cats that come out of puppy mills.”

The ban would take effect in 2019. It would not cover private sales by dog, cat and rabbit breeders

“May dog be with you,” O’Donnell quipped, before the Assembly voted 55-2 to send AB 485 to Brown.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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