How much is that little puppy in the window? Well, realistically, the money you paid for that puppy is not going to a humane breeder, it’s going to a fund puppy mill. Puppy mills are cruel breeding farms where dogs are kept in deplorable conditions, including dirty, overcrowded cages with little attention paid to their health — and 99 percent of dogs sold in pet shops come from mills. Puppy mill dogs often have health and socialization issues. It’s truly upsetting to think about, so we won’t spend a lot of time talking about puppy mills — we all know how horrible they are.
Which makes California’s new law protecting animals even more important. According to Buzzfeed, the Golden State has just enacted a law that requires pet stores to only sell rescue animals, making it the first state-wide of its kind.
Under the new law, any animals sold in pet stores in California must come from non-profit rescues organizations or shelters. Not only will this serve as a deterrent to unscrupulous dog breeders, but it will help ease crowding in animal shelters that taxpayers ultimately pay for. “This is a big win for our four-legged friends, of course, but also for California taxpayers who spend more than $250 million annually to house and euthanize animals in our shelters,” explained California State Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, who wrote the bill.
Numerous cities, such as Chicago, already have similar ordinances in place, but this is the first time an entire state has passed such a law. In New York City, where Inverse is based, the sale of pets is regulated, but not are limited only to rescue animals. There are dozens of pet stores all over the city where puppies from puppy mills are sold, and despite the regulation, Yelp reviews are full of consumers complaining that their pet shop animals are unhealthy, or worse: they allege abusive behavior on part of the staff at the stores. We’d love to see a ban on commercially-bred pups on the federal. Dogs are special and wholesome and we must protect them at all costs.