California bill puts animals first

Puppy mills and kitten factories took a crushing blow last Friday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 485.

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, California pet stores will only be allowed to sell puppies and kittens that are rescued or from shelters. Individuals can still purchase puppies and kittens through a private breeder, but pet stores will no longer be allowed to do so.

Violators are subject to a fine of up to $500 per animal that is not considered a rescue or shelter animal. It is not right to commercially breed pets, as it does far more harm to the animal than good.

California is the first state to adopt such legislation. The goal of puppy mills is to make money and often times the conditions in which these puppies, kittens and rabbits are housed are unsanitary.

Proper food and medical attention are also often ignored in these commercial style operations. You can never know where puppies come from, and for all milled animals to be bred and raised in horrid conditions is not acceptable, especially by today’s standards.

Maximizing profits often comes at the expense of these young puppies and kittens, and this practice should not be allowed to proceed any longer.

Being bred in close quarters can also result in these animals having behavioral and health issues later on, according to PETA reports.

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats), according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. By adopting the new legislation, California has committed themselves to killing less shelter animals and finding them homes.

The cost of adopting a pet is a fraction of what someone would pay for a new puppy or other animal. There are many puppies and kittens that need homes in shelters and rescue centers all across the country.

That is not including all the vaccinations and paperwork that goes along with buying a new pet.

Rescued or sheltered animals can be adopted for free, although sometimes there is a small adoption fee. They come vaccinated with the proper paperwork and are in good health.

While California is the first state to adopt a bill against puppy mills, there have been over 230 cities and counties that have passed a form of bill A.B. 485.

This bill will also help shelters receive less animals and get more animals out of the shelters and into new homes.

Approximately 6.5 million animals end up in shelters each year: 3.2 million are dogs, while 3.3 million are cats and less than half of those will go on to be adopted, according to ASPCA.

However, there has been an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners. ASPCA estimates that about 710,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners.

California has led the way and hopefully more states will follow suit in this step to stop the cruelty against these animals.

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