John Marshall; Blasting News; February 15, 2017
San Francisco city leaders chose Valentine’s Day to show their love for animals in approving legislation that targets so-called “puppy mills” by banning pet stores from selling dogs and cats unless they are rescues, while a California lawmaker is proposing a similar law that would expand the ban throughout the state and would also include rabbits.
In San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a ban to prohibit pet stores from selling the dogs and cats unless they have been rescued by an animal shelter or a rescue organization. Under the new law, pet shops will also be required to maintain and display records of where the dogs and cats they’re offering for sale came from. The sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks old would also be prohibited.
“We really do believe that it will send a great message not just in San Francisco but across California, nationwide and hopefully worldwide,” Supervisor Katy Tang, the sponsor of the legislation, told the San Francisco Examiner after the ban was passed.
San Francisco SPCA applauds new law
The legislation had the backing of the San Francisco SPCA, which cheered its passage, posting in a statement on its Facebook page that “suppliers of pet store puppies and kittens are nearly always cruel and abusive mills.” The Humane Society of the United States also supported the measure, saying that an estimated 10,000 puppy mills across the United states produce more than 2,300,000 puppies a year, with a large portion of dogs and cats found in pet stores coming from the mills.
State lawmaker proposes statewide ban
Meanwhile, in the state legislature, a state assemblyman has introduced a bill that would require pet stores to sell only dogs, cats and rabbits that came from rescue groups. The bill, proposed by Long Beach Democrat Patrick O’Donnell, is similar to a City of Los Angeles ordinance that was passed in 2012.
“Inhumane breeding facilities are mass-producing animals for sale to the public, even as overcrowded shelters euthanize millions of dogs and cats each year,” O’Donnell said in introducing his bill. “The Pet Rescue & Adoption Act celebrates responsible pet ownership by supporting access to rescues and pet adoptions.”
O’Donnell’s bill has the support of a group called Social Compassion In Legislation, a leading California nonprofit organization that supports the welfare, protection, and rights of animals.
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