The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act (A.B. 485) was passed in 2017 by Gov. Jerry Brown and is now in full effect (as of January 1st 2019). This new law basically shuts down high-volume, commercial breeding facilities like "puppy mills" or "kitten factories," by cutting off one of their main markets--pet stores. The intention is to stop pet stores from selling pets as products for profit. Pet stores will alternatively have to rescue and adopt pets from a humane society to then re-adopt out to new owners. The pet stores are required to keep meticulous paperwork and follow strict guidelines.
This law does not apply to breeders. Some would argue breeders are a smaller version of breeding facilities that produce and sell pets for profit. Others would argue breeders have higher ethical and health care standards when breeding pets. This can be confusing because currently there are no laws that define "higher standards."
How about all the other pets that are not "protected" under this law (like exotic pets, rats, hamsters, chameleons, snakes, birds, tortoises, etc.). At this point the "Mom-and-Pop" pet stores as well as the big pet retail stores are still allowed to sell pets (just not puppies, kittens, and bunnies). The big retail stores are additionally taking steps in the right direction by sponsoring dog and cat rescue events and regularly hosting non-profit 501(c)(3) rescue groups to facilitate pet adoptions!
Ultimately, the underlying issue comes down to money. The State of California allocates a quarter billion dollars annually to support animal humane societies. Approximately 1.5 million animals are euthanized annually in the U.S. alone according to the ASPCA (mainly because there simply are not enough homes for them). If the end goal is to reduce the unwanted pet population and to decrease the taxpayer's burden in caring for unwanted pets, then this new law is a huge step in the right direction.
But does cutting out the pet store business guarantee a reduction of the unwanted pet epidemic? We will have to wait and see how this affects the "black market" or "craigslist puppies/kittens/bunnies." There are backyard pet breeders that fail to breed pets to any standard. The benefit of professional breeders is that they strive to achieve quality pets set by various groups such as the AKC (American Kennel Club) for dogs. You might be thinking: this will expand the current black-market businesses of unregistered, undocumented, non-tax paying "Pop-Up" pet stores. Have we Californians solved a problem or created a new or bigger one?
Healthy Paws Veterinary Care will support any owner willing to give any dog or cat a FOREVER home. Your dog or cat can be new and fancy, cute, ugly, slight used and scruffy, hurt, or broken, but in the end we are here to provide the most love and best medical care for them all. If you do adopt a pet, thank you for helping to reduce the unwanted pet epidemic! We believe that each life, no matter how he or she came about, is worth our love and attention. So whether you agree or disagree with this new law, we are a hospital that passes no judgment. Thank you for being a human that gives a pet a FOREVER home!