California Becomes First State in U.S. to Ban Sale of Puppy Mill Dogs in Pet Stores
Animal protection groups celebrate Governor Brown’s signing of landmark bill protecting pets and consumers
Sacramento, CA – Local and national animal welfare organizations today commend CA Governor Jerry Brown for signing into law legislation that will prevent the sale of commercially raised dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores across the state of California. The law also encourages partnerships that promote the adoption of homeless pets.
Authored by Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), Assembly Bill 485 protects animals and consumers, and sets an important precedent for the rest of nation. The bill passed the CA legislature Sept. 14. To date, 36 jurisdictions in California – including the cities of Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco – have enacted similar ordinances, and the signing of AB 485 makes California the first state in the nation to enact a statewide prohibition on pet store sales of dogs from puppy mills.
“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,” said Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA. “We’re proud to be part of the coalition that worked alongside Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell to pass this critical animal protection bill, and thank the California legislature and Governor Brown for sending the clear message that industries supporting animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our society.”
“By signing this groundbreaking bill, California has set an important, humane precedent for other states to follow,” said Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “We commend Governor Brown’s signing of this lifesaving legislation to codify statewide what cities across California have already done to help put an end to the cruelty of pet mills.”
“Californians recognize that pet stores enable the work of puppy mills, which cause suffering for dogs and heartbreak for consumers,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Governor Brown for putting his stamp of approval on a state policy to dry up funding for this inhumane industry.”
“This is a significant milestone in easing the overcrowding of homeless animals in California shelters, relieving county budgets and stopping the abusive puppy mill industry," said Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society. "We commend Governor Brown for signing AB 485 so California can continue to lead the country in the protection of animals and helping end the cruelty of commercial puppy mills once and for all.”
“This legislation is a big step forward for animals in California,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, President of the SF SPCA. “By signing AB 485, Governor Brown has helped stop pet mill cruelty and save the lives of rescue animals in San Francisco and across our state. We want to extend our sincere thanks to Governor Brown for his leadership on this issue.”
California joins more than 230 cities, towns and counties across the U.S. that have passed pet store ordinances to take a stand against allowing cruelly-bred animals to be sold in their communities. Despite enticing claims that they only source from licensed, humane or small-scale breeders, pet stores across the country are invariably supplying unsuspecting consumers with animals from puppy and kitten “mills.” These “mill” facilities are designed to maximize profits at to the expense of the animals in their possession. Those animals are generally kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. Animals bred in these conditions may suffer severe health problems, including contagious and deadly diseases and congenital defects, as well as behavioral problems. AB 485 will help break the supply chain so that “mill” operations are unable to profit from their abusive practices.
This groundbreaking legislation has the enthusiastic support of a coalition of local and national animal welfare groups including the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, The Humane Society of the United States, San Diego Humane Society and San Francisco SPCA.
Best Friends Animal Society: Temma Martin; firstname.lastname@example.org; 801-953-8876
ASPCA: Maureen Linehan; email@example.com; 646-706-4602
The Humane Society of the U.S.: John Goodwin; firstname.lastname@example.org; 301-653- 2542
San Diego Humane Society: Elizabeth Pecsi-Guerrero; email@example.com; 619-279-5086
San Francisco SPCA: Krista Maloney; firstname.lastname@example.org; 415-522-3507
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,900 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to about two million. Determined to get that number to zero by the year 2025, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.
To become a fan of Best Friends on Facebook, go to Facebook.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety. Follow Best Friends on Twitter (@BestFriends) and Instagram (@BestFriendsAnimalSociety).
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization in North America and continues to serve as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA is committed to its mission of providing effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the most effective animal protection organization, as rated by our peers. For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We and our affiliates are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 150,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people. HumaneSociety.org
About San Diego Humane Society
Serving San Diego County since 1880, San Diego Humane Society’s scope of social responsibility goes beyond adopting animals. San Diego Humane Society offers San Diegans a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, prevent cruelty/neglect, provide medical care, educate the community on the humane treatment of animals and provide safety net services for all pet families needing assistance with keeping their pets.
As one of San Diego’s oldest nonprofit organizations, San Diego Humane Society has campuses located in Escondido, Oceanside, and San Diego as well as adoption centers inside select Petco stores throughout San Diego County. San Diego Humane Society is supported solely through contributions, grants, bequests, investments, municipal contracts and small fees for services. For more information or to view our current animals available for adoption; please visit www.sdhumane.org.
About the SF SPCA
The San Francisco SPCA is an independent, community-supported, non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions. The organization does not receive government funding and is not affiliated with any national organization.
For more information, call the SF SPCA at (415) 554-3000 or visit sfspca.org.