Friday October 13 might have been unlucky for some, but in California it was a day of victory after the state decided to ban the sale of animals from so-called puppy mills.
California's governor, Jerry Brown, announced last Friday that he had signed a bill which will require pet shops to get their animals from shelters and rescues, rather than mass breeding companies, also known as puppy mills.
These massive establishments churn out animal after animal of all sorts of breeds, purely for profit and with little regard for the health of each puppy or kitten.
Female dogs, cats and rabbits, confined in small cages and given little care and attention, are made to give birth to hundreds of babies, one after the other. The young creatures are then often sent to pet shops, sometimes when they themselves are very ill, to be sold for hundreds of dollars to unsuspecting families.
Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA, told Business Insider:
This landmark law breaks the puppy mill supply chain that pushes puppies into California pet stores and has allowed unscrupulous breeders to profit from abusive practices.
We're proud to be part of the coalition that worked alongside Assembly member Patrick O'Donnell to pass this critical animal protection bill, and thank the California legislature and Governor Brown for sending the clear message that industries supporting animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our society.
The ban would not apply to professional, ethical breeders, who generally do not sell their dogs through pet shops in favor of raising their animals in their own home.
Several cities in California, such as Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles had already banned pet stores from getting their animals from mass breeding facilities. This will now be law across the whole state, hopefully leading others to follow.
Puppy mills have proven to be damaging to young animals, the mothers who are forced to have litter after litter with no regard for their health, and also to breeds as a whole, as mill owners and backyard breeders often don’t care about how healthy an animal is as long as they can make a profit.
There are, of course, many ethical breeders, who truly care for the happiness and well-being of their animals. Many will not sell to people who they don’t think can care properly for a pet, even if it means losing out on a buyer because they do not want to see any animal abandoned or abused.
Source: Rescue Me Ohio/Facebook
People looking for a purebred should always visit the home of their new family member, where they can see where they have been brought up, see the mom and ask questions to the breeder.
As more and more people become aware of the conditions inside these ‘breeding factories’, it is hoped by activists that they will be more thoughtful about where they get their pets from. It is always a wonderful thing to give a home to a cat or dog from a shelter, rather than buying from a breeder.
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