California Considers Bill Requiring Pet Stores to Sell Only Shelter Animals

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In California, more than 30 jurisdictions have banned the retail sale of commercially bred dogs and cats. This includes San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

A bill before the state Assembly would require all dogs, cats and rabbits sold in stores to be rescue animals. All retailers would be required to work with local shelters or get their animals from pet adoption agencies. That bill is currently before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Now an ordinance that would prohibit pet stores from selling dogs or cats from individual or commercial breeders is under consideration in the state’s capital, Sacramento.

Proponents of the ordinance say it would help lower animal shelter populations, reduce costs for those shelters and give a better environment to the animals. The City Council says backyard breeding is “prolific” in Sacramento. The aim of the ordinance, supporters say, is to curb that trend.

These new legal measures in the state of California reflect cultural changes that have arguably made it more acceptable to adopt pets from shelters rather than buy a purebred. A 2014 report by PetSmart Charities found that 66 percent of respondents would adopt a cat or dog rather than buy one. That’s up from 58 percent in 2011.


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