Calif. Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring Pet Stores To Only Sell Rescues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBSLA.com/AP) — California lawmakers have approved a bill requiring pet stores to sell dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters or rescue operations.

The state Senate passed Assembly Bill 485 by a margin of 38-0 Tuesday. It previously passed the Assembly May 30 by a margin of 55-11. After returning briefly to the Assembly for a legislative issue, the bill went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk Thursday to be signed into law.

AB-485, authored by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach), bans pet stores from selling animals bred in puppy mills and other mass-breeding operations. Instead, stores must work with public animal control agencies, shelters or rescue groups.

The stores must keep records for up to one year showing where they get the dogs, cats and rabbits they sell.

“My family has two rescue dogs; this issue is very personal to me,” O’Donnell said in a statement Thursday. “In addition to saving animal life, AB 485 is also good for taxpayers. Californians spend more than $250 million a year to house and euthanize animals in our shelters. Protecting the pets that make our house a home is an effort that makes us all proud.”

No Assembly members spoke against the bill. Supporters say it ensures only animals bred healthily and humanely are sold.

Pet stores that violate the new law would face a $500 fine.

More than 30 California counties and cities already require pet stores to sell rescue animals.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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