California may soon become the first state to require all stores that sell dogs, cats and rabbits to offer adoptable pets from shelters and nonprofit rescue groups instead of through breeders or puppy mills, thanks to a landmark bill adopted by state lawmakers.
Assembly Bill 485, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, authored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, is now on its way to the governor’s desk for signage. The California Assembly passed the bill in June and the Senate voted unanimously on its passage this week.
O’Donnell, whose family has two rescue dogs, said the issue “is very personal” to him.
“In addition to saving animal life, AB 485 is also good for taxpayers,” he said in a statement released Thursday. “Californians spend more than $250 million a year to house and euthanize animals in our shelters. Protecting the pets that make our house a home is an effort that makes us all proud.”
An estimated 35 cities across California have enacted similar policies at the local level, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but the passage of AB 485 would mark the first time a state adopted such protections.
Governor Jerry Brown has until Oct. 15 to sign or veto all bills.
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