California is the first state to enact a law banning the sales of animals at pet stores from so-called puppy mills. Julie Johnson at the Bakersfield SPCA was among those who lobbied for passage, saying there’s trend to reduce the number of unwanted and unhealthy animals in shelters. “It’s already against the law to sell any puppies or kittens in park, swap meet, on a sidewalk or in a parking lot, that’s a law that’s already been in place for two years, and there’s a pretty hefty fine for it.” Cats and rabbits are also covered by the puppy mill law that took effect January 1st. It requires pet stores to only sell animals that come from rescues or shelters, after a huge problem with expensive designer dogs being sold that had health problems or breeding defects. Johnson says many of the same type of animals are at rescues, and they will usually have important background information on its behavior and other concerns.

Suzanne Grant