California lawmakers are working to take a bold stand against the cruel practices of puppy mills.
Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell recently introduced bill A.B. 485, which, if passed, would enact a statewide ban on the sale of cruelly-bred animals (dogs, cats and rabbits) in pet stores, replacing these animals with adoptable pets from legtimate shelters and nonprofit rescues groups.
According to the ASPCA, 35 municipalities across California already have local ordinances similar to this bill in place, but the passage of A.B. 485 would mark the first time an entire state has enacted these protections for pet store animals.
On Tuesday, the California Senate approved the bill unanimously with a vote of 32-0. Now there is one last step standing in the way of this bill becoming legislation. A.B. 485 needs to go back to the Assembly for a procedural vote, which it is expected to pass by Friday.
“By prohibiting the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores, California will cut off the supply of inhumanely bred puppies into communities across the state, and prevent consumers from unwittingly supporting this cruel industry,” Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA told PEOPLE in a statement. “We thank the Senate for unanimously passing this important bill and urge the Assembly to act similarly so that Governor Brown may sign it and signal clearly that California will not tolerate industries relying on animal cruelty as a pathway to profit.”
If it passes, California will make history and puppy mills will take a hard hit, losing sales from every pet store in California. Lawmakers see cutting off this primary part of the supply chain as an important step towards ending the practices of puppy mills and other cruel breeders for good.