Assemblymember O’Donnell Introduces Legislation to Curtail Puppy and Kitten Mills

File photo.

In an effort to curb unhealthy animals and animal overpopulation, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, D—Long Beach, introduced legislation Tuesday in Sacramento that would help put an end to puppy and kitten mills.

The Pet and Rescue Adoption Act, known as AB 485, is being sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), a California-based nonprofit that focuses on animal rights.

If enacted into law, AB 485 would require all dogs, cats and rabbits for sale at pet stores to be obtained either from public or private animal shelters within California or nonprofit rescue groups.

“Inhumane breeding facilities are mass-producing animals for sale to the public, even as overcrowded shelters euthanize millions of dogs and cats each year,” said O’Donnell in a statement. “AB 485 celebrates responsible pet ownership by supporting access to rescues and pet adoptions.”

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AB 485 is modeled partially after a 2012 ordinance from the City of Los Angeles, which prohibits the sale of commercially bred pets in local retail stores.

According to the SCIL, puppy mills and kitten factories produce pets that consumers think are “healthy and genetically sound, but in reality[…] often face an array of health problems including communicable diseases or genetic disorders that present themselves immediately after sale or that do not surface until several years later[…]”

The bill’s introduction to the California State Legislature coincides with Responsible Pet Owner Month.

“With the introduction of this new bill, thousands of shelter and rescued animals will have a chance of finding their forever homes by getting out of the shelters and into storefronts,” said Judie Mancuso, president of SCIL in a statement. “As California taxpayers, we spend over a quarter of a billion dollars annually to house and kill animals. We need to implement solutions and not settle for status quo for one more year.”

Currently, the bill is waiting for referral to a policy committee.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.