There’s good news for the rescue animals of California this week. Coming into effect on January 1st of this year, state legislators passed bill A.B 485, which states that pet stores in the state of California can now only sell rescue animals. The pet stores must also provide ample information about where their animals have come from and be able to show documentation that the pets are rescues upon routine checks by authorities.
While many of the small shops have raised concern over the new bill, saying that it could put them out of business, animal rights groups are heralding it. Statistics show that more than 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters every year, and about 1.5 million are put down. The shutdown of puppy and kitten mills is one aim of the new bill. The mills typically provide designer pets from often terrible and inhumane living conditions and overbred animals. Animal rights organizations are hoping that the new bill, labeled Lucy’s Law, will give homeless shelter pets a second chance at life.
Lucy’s Law was brought on when the news of a mistreated King Charles Cavalier spaniel named Lucy went public. Lucy was a breeding dog at a puppy mill, and after many years of mistreatment she had suffered fused hips, a curved spine, bald patches, and epilepsy. Lucy was rescued, and her new owner, Lisa Garner, made her story known. The story sparked the debate over the sales of milled puppies and kittens, and the conditions from which they come.
While Lucy’s Law will ban pet stores from buying from commercial breeders, the bill does not stop private party sales from animal breeders. Nevertheless, the bill is a step in the right direction, and an example for other states who may be considering moving in the same direction. California is the first state to pass a bill of this kind in the United States, and a similar bill has just passed in England, which bans pet shop from selling puppies or kittens under 6 months of age.
Have you rescued an animal, and if so, what special story does your animal have?
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