California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two animal welfare bills into law this month. Both are designed to protect the welfare of the state’s dogs, cats, and other companion animals. The laws were signed on September 19th, in recognition of Puppy Mill Awareness Day.
AB 2152, sponsored by Assembly member Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), closes a loophole in an existing law prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits.
The sale of these animals in retail pet stores was first banned by AB 485 in 2018, but humane organizations discovered that some disreputable sellers were circumventing the law and continuing to sell puppy mill animals falsely labeled as “rescues.”
AB 2152 officially prohibits all retail sales of these pets, while still allowing pet stores to partner with animal shelters and rescue groups to showcase animals that are up for adoption only.
SB 573, sponsored by Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), requires animal shelters and other animal control agencies to microchip all dogs and cats before adopting them out to new owners, and before returning lost pets to their original owners.
This microchip proposal had been vetoed by California’s previous governor, who cited concerns about the financial burden it would place on the animal agencies.
Governor Newsom signed both the puppy mill and microchip bills into law; he also allocated $4 million for shelters in the state to obtain proper training and resources to achieve a “no-kill” goal in 2021.
“In California, we are putting an end to the cruel puppy mill industry for good. I am proud to sign this legislation to advance California’s nation-leading animal welfare protections and help more pets join loving families,” he said in a statement.