Animal Lovers, Rejoice! California Pet Stores Can Now Only Sell Rescue Animals

There’s no shortage of animals in need of a loving home. Now, California is making strides to ensure rescue animals find their forever family.

As of January 1, pet store owners in California are prohibited from selling dogs, cats or rabbits unless they came from a rescue shelter. Meant to discourage puppy mills and kitten factories, which often mistreat animals and raise them in unsanitary conditions with inadequate food, water and socialization, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act is the first of its kind nationwide.

According to the new mandate, pet store owners must develop a relationship with a private or public shelter, comply with the spaying and neutering rules and establish and maintain records indicating where each animal came from. These documents must be kept in the view of the public on each animal’s enclosure. If a pet shop owner fails to meet these requirements, they’ll be forced to pay a $500 fine.

This transformative bill was brought forth by assembly member Patrick O’Donnell and signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown on October 13, 2017. Now it’s ready to start changing animals’ lives across the state.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.