It will soon be illegal to sell dogs from puppy mills in pet stores in the state of California. Instead, animals, including dogs, cats, and rabbits, must be provided from shelters and rescues. The bill was passed recently by the Senate without one person dissenting. The bill was passed with overwhelming support and signed by top Assembly members. Given the Governor’s previous record and stance on animal welfare, the measure is likely to be signed, making California the first state to enact such a law.
The 38 million California residents are for the most part animal lovers and generally do not like to contribute to the puppy mill industry. Additionally, people do not want sick dogs being sold through the usual channels. Despite pet store claims that animals are sourced from shelters, this tends not to be the case more often than one would like. The HSUS (The Humane Society of the United States) has on several occasions, investigated pet stores claiming animals are from shelters. On those occasions, the investigations turned up evidence that the animals came from horrible confinement operations.
On top of this, private and public shelters euthanize thousands of healthy animals. The state strongly opposes this and wants to stop the needless killing and also relieve financial burdens placed on local communities. This can easily be achieved by promoting adoption and spaying and neutering.
If puppy mills are closed, people are forced to turn to shelters as are the pet stores. With these being the only avenues for adoption, shelters will become less crowded. What is the point of the government working so hard to prevent homeless animal numbers from rising and promoting adoption when there is no policy banning pet stores from sourcing from puppy mills?
In the event adoption does not work, people are forced to look into smaller breeders that care for their animals and provide quality welfare and attention. Thirty-six localities in the state have already passed the ordinances banning puppy mill sales, reinforcing the ideology that this is a top issue for the electorate.
Most pet stores across California have already given up selling animals from puppy mills. 391 stores signed the HSUS Puppy Friendly Pet Store Pledge confirming they do not sell commercially raised puppies. The value placed on this issue is widely embraced across the state and many companies support the bill stating that abandoning puppy mills is not only ‘the right thing to do’ but it is also necessary for ‘a successful business’.
The next stop is Ohio, as it is the second largest puppy mill state, second to Missouri. A ballot initiative has already been filed to improve living conditions within puppy mills. The bill states that dogs cannot be sold unless breeders have agreed to basic and common-sense standards of human care for the animals. The anti-puppy mill movement and campaign is making its way to all the large markets and biggest mill states, check your area for local measures and get involved.