Assembly Bill 485, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Wednesday, May 17 where it will be analyzed for its fiscal impact on the State of California. According to Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell’s office, the bill carries minor fiscal impacts and will not be going to suspense, i.e., held so that the committee can analyze the effect it will have on the state budget. Legislation that would have a fiscal impact of over $150,000 would fall into this category.
The bill passed the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions with a 10-to-1 vote on April 17.
AB 485 was introduced and co-authored by Assembly Member O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and is sponsored by nonprofit animal-rights organization Social Compassion in Legislation. The bill would require all dogs, cats and rabbits offered for retail sale in California pet stores to be obtained by an animal shelter or a nonprofit rescue organization.
Similar legislation has been enacted in 33 cities and towns across the state. Long Beach enacted the Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Pet Shop Ordinances in October 2016; the latter prohibits the sale of animals in pet stores.
AB 485 has over 50 supporters, including the City of Long Beach, Friends of Long Beach Animals, Fix Long Beach, Helen Sanders CatPAWS and the Healthy Spot. Other supporters include spcaLA, Southland Collie Rescue, Inc., and a number of species-specific rescues, animal organizations, and municipalities.
Opponents include the American Kennel Club, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), the Responsible Citizens for Pet Ownership, California Retailers Association, German Shepherd Dog Club of America, and a number of other retail and dog-fancier organizations. PIJAC’s response to the bill can be accessed here.
“I am proud to be the principal coauthor for AB 485,” said Assembly Member Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) at O’Donnell’s public announcement of the committee passage in April. “It was great to see my colleagues in the committee support this cause today. This bill is an important step in ending the inhumane and deplorable breeding practices of puppy mills and fostering increased adoption opportunities for pets at local shelters.”