New California law limiting pet choice takes effect on January 1st
California’s Assembly Bill 485, which was passed into law in 2017, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The new law bans pet shops from selling purpose-bred puppies from regulated and inspected sources. Instead, ironically, it will require pet shops to only sell pets from sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations) that are not subject to federal Animal Welfare Act laws, required to be inspected, or subject to state consumer protection laws and other guarantees.
American Kennel Club has expressed concerns about this measure because it will dramatically reduce every Californian’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health backgrounds that come with purpose-bred pets from regulated sources.
Additionally, the new law frames the desire to obtain a purebred dog as wrong or shameful, and that purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder somehow means that another dog will be euthanized in its place. Activists also suggested that the ban would vastly reduce the number of dogs in shelters. In fact, however, a study by the American Pet Products Association (2016) reveals that only four percent of dogs acquired each year come from a retail pet store, while more than ten times that number currently come from a combination of shelters, rescues and other “adoption” markets.
The AKC emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. Good pets can be obtained from a variety of sources including breeders, shelters, rescues and retail pet stores. AKC actively promotes efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible dog ownership and have access to a pet that is right for them. When pet owners have the freedom of choice to select a pet that is a good fit for their lifestyle, that animal is less likely to end up homeless or in a shelter. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from shelter or rescue distributors.
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