California Is the First State to Ban the Sale of Nonrescued Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits

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2 min read

California has officially become the first state in the country to ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from breeding mills.

Beginning tomorrow, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act—approved by Gov. Jerry Brown—will prohibit stores in the Golden State from selling these animals unless they were acquired from a public animal control agency, shelter, or rescue group. Violators can be charged $500 per animal if found breaking the law. Unfortunately, breeders are still able to sell animals directly to buyers.

Thirty-six cities in the state already have similar breeding mill–ban legislation in place, including West Hollywood, which was the first city in the nation to ban the sale of dogs and cats from puppy and kitten mills. The growing opposition to breeding mills sends a clear message: Animals exist for their own reasons, not to suit our fancy, and every sentient being deserves a loving home and family regardless of species or breed.

Thank you to California and all animal advocates who rallied for this crucial legislation!

Breeding mills churn out hundreds of thousands of animals every year in deplorable conditions to supply stores, compounding the overpopulation crisis.

PETA has combated and uncovered horrific conditions at breeding mills for years, including in our investigation of Holmes Farm, a huge Pennsylvania animal mill that supplied PetSmart, Petco, and others. A PETA eyewitness video of the facility documented that animals were frozen alive and gassed by the dozens.

Pet shops treat puppies, kittens, birds, hamsters, mice, rabbits, and other animals as if they were fashion accessories, and they sell them to anyone with a credit card. Most animals sold in stores come from mass-breeding facilities, where they’re denied socialization, exercise, and veterinary care.

These animals are typically taken away from their mothers at an early age, packed into crates, and trucked or flown hundreds of miles—often without adequate food, water, or ventilation—to brokers, who then sell them to stores. Some don’t survive the grueling journey.

Never forget: Every time someone buys an animal from a pet store, they’re condemning one in a shelter to death.

Always have your animal companions spayed or neutered, and never buy from a breeder or pet shop. As long as shops sell animals from breeders, unwanted, loving, and healthy animals in severely crowded shelters will be killed.

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