California bill would ban selling pets bought from breeders

April 12, 2017

A bill in the California Legislature calls for prohibiting pet stores from selling live dogs, cats and rabbits unless businesses acquire the animals from a shelter, rescue or adoption organization.

Assembly Bill 485, introduced by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and backed by animal rights groups, intends to crack down on commercial breeding facilities, or puppy mills. If adopted, the legislation would mandate pet stores acquire dogs, cats and rabbits from a public animal control agency or shelter, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society or a nonprofit rescue or adoption organization that cooperates with one of those agencies.

The bill proposes punishing pet stores that continue selling animals acquired from breeders with infractions and misdemeanors. Pet store owners would be guilty of a misdemeanor starting with their third offense.

“Inhumane breeding facilities are mass-producing animals for sale to the public, even as overcrowded shelters euthanize millions of dogs and cats each year,” O’Donnell said in a statement about the legislation. “The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act celebrates responsible pet ownership by supporting access to rescues and pet adoptions.”

A similar measure requiring pet stores to acquire dogs, cats and rabbits from animal shelters was adopted by the city of Los Angeles in 2012. Since then, 31 California cities have replicated the Los Angeles ordinance, according to the nonprofit organization Social Compassion in Legislation.

The Assembly Business and Professions Committee is due to hold a hearing on AB 485 next week.



  1. AGDUDE says:

    Don’t You think this stuff is getting out of hand, Did you know now in Calif if you are renting a home, You pay about 5% right off the top to calif. EACH Month , that is not state income tax,on TOP of your taxes..

    Phill Collines , Had a video, Which he asks at the end , “So How Does it End”??? think it was I wish it rain down on me … It’s getting crazy out there for sure!

  2. Pelican1 says:

    Why not crack down on BREEDERS who would pimp their puppies through pet stores and other outlets?
    Responsible breeders would NEVER consider “retailing” their dog’s offspring in such a manner.

  3. jimmy_me says:

    Three words: mobile pet dispensaries. Because you can no longer buy that special breed from a brick & mortar pet store, you’ll be able peruse a website for the animal of your choice, and the have that animal delivered to your door. You won’t even need a note from anyone proving that you’re a responsible pet owner. Wow! I’m not sure where I get these great ideas from…

  4. demiseofslo says:

    Get over yourself and your sense of entitlement. Adopt a dog from the local animal shelter. Save a life! I have a Chihuahua that I adopted from the pound over 8 years ago. The love of my life!!

  5. October says:

    Not everyone wants a chihuahua-mix or pit bull-mix, which is all there seems to be at the animal shelters. I’m all for reducing the unwanted pet population, but I also think people should be able to have a choice in what breed of animal they get.

    • UnReasoned says:

      I was surprised by the negative responses to this legislation, considering how much we love our dogs in SLO, so I decided to read the actual text of the bill found here: . It does not prohibit breeders from operating. It merely enforces a priority for retail stores to sell rescues and shelter animals. You can still go the a breeder if you want and hopefully those who choose to will do their research to find reputable and humane dog breeders.

  6. SLOBIRD says:

    Well, once again, another item that can only be purchased out of State. No problem, when I go to Neveda and/or Arizona to pick up my ammo I’ll just pick up a critter for a friend or a relative if they want it. This State is like living under a dictatorship. Caged chickens for eggs, limit ammo, limit clips, limit type of guns, etc. But don’t worry, they will only be misdeamors if caught and plead of poverty means no bail and/or no fine.

    • UnReasoned says:

      I was surprised by the negative responses to this legislation, considering how much we love our dogs in SLO, so I decided to read the actual text of the bill found here: . It does not prohibit breeders from operating in California. You can still buy directly from a breeder if you want. Public funds support animal shelters so this bill would help reduce the pet populations cared for by state and local facilities. No need for the long drive to Arizona just for puppies… Also, what do your guns have to do with adopting animals in need?

  7. DocT says:

    Ah……depriving people of their economic freedom. That always works in unexpected ways. In addition, a dictate that forbids acquiring pets that haven’t discarded by previous owners first…..this is really, really great! I wonder what sort of in-expected consequences will come about as a result of this utter arrogance and stupidity?

    I say let’s put a weight limit on dogs, and a hair length limit on cats too. As a community, we want short haired cats and small dogs—-no one voted on that, but I feel like I should be able to dictate the types of animals people own and dictate where they buy or sell them. I mean, we’re a free people, right?

    I predict a black market in pets….which is another way of saying a free-market in pets.

  8. MrYan says:

    Dogs gotta run…..where are they going to go it if they can’t go to public open space?
    Don’t ban the dog, Ticket crappy owners for not picking up poop, etc.

    This legislation does not stop pet mills, just makes it harder for the Pet stores to get product (yes it is a product). Perhaps they instead should require these chain pet stores to only buy products they’ve certified to be raised humanely–or else be subject to fine and lawsuit. That would fix the problem of bad puppy mills.

    As it stands now the puppy mills will continue to operate, they just sell elsewhere–so nothing is really solved.

    Personally, I prefer the mutts, they are better behaved than pure bred’s. But if people want pure bred animals they should be able to get them through these stores. Which this legislation would effectively curtail.

    If you want chain stores to clear out the animal shelter’s then give them a tax credit to do so. Most likely you’d see greater participation with a market approach (yes taxes can help to drive the market in productive manner).

    • Rambunctious says:

      Another short sighted and dictatorial attempt by government to correct a problem.

    • RonHolt says:

      Doing this will not stop mass breeders nationwide but will reduce the number of animals they sell. This is a real problem and forcing pet stores to not use the bad breeders will help. The certification process you propose seems to be inviting the creation of a new bureaucracy. I can see the possibilities of offering tax credits for purchase of shelter animals but am reluctant to see the tax code get any more complicated than it already is.

      I find myself with a different concern here. Not all breeders are just grinding out “product.” Some are breeding small quantities, carefully, for specialized purposes and they can be contacted directly by interested buyers. They also tend to be picky about who they sell to and charge a lot for the animals they sell. I am concerned that the legislation might impact the innocent as well as the guilty.

  9. tojofay says:

    Too little too late. Please keep your dog to yourself, on a lease, and picked up after.
    Thank you.

    • Black_Copter_Pilot says:

      Also, refrain from bringing them to any Paso parks, it’s opted yet totally ignored….they are becoming sanctuary parks for K-9s

    • Ricky2 says:

      I prefer to buy rather than lease.

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