CA Considering Limits to Pet Choice, Require Pet Shops to Sell Only Pets from Shelter/Rescues

A radical nationwide campaign continues to seek government-sanctioned restrictions on retails sales of pets. The latest threat emerges from the California State Legislature.

radical nationwide campaign continues to seek government-sanctioned restrictions on retails sales of pets. The latest threat emerges from the California State Legislature.  Assembly Bill 485 seeks to prohibit pet shop operators from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits unless the animals were obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, a shelter maintained by a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, a humane society shelter, or a nonprofit rescue or adoption organization.   

The AKC Board-approved Canine Legislation Position Statement on “Pet Choice” is clear: “The American Kennel Club emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. AKC actively promotes efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible ownership and have access to a pet that is right for them. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from shelter or rescue distributors.”   

On principle, the AKC opposes AB 485 and similar legislation that unreasonably and unnecessarily limits a consumer from choosing a pet that best meets their family’s needs.   

WHAT AB 485 WILL DO IF ENACTED:  

  • It will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and allow pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated and uninspected sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations).  This will dramatically reduce average Californian's access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health backgrounds that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.    
  • Because many communities lack sufficient local breeders to meet the demand for the specific pets desired by local residents, California families seeking a puppy that is a specific breed from a professional breeder subject to USDA or state animal welfare standards will likely have little other alternative than to obtain a pet of unknown background, health history or status if AB 485 becomes law.  If consumers are limited to acquiring a pet that is an inappropriate fit for their lifestyle, that animal is more likely to cycle back into the shelter system.   
  • AB 485 does not require shelters or rescues to supply pet shops with dogs to sell.  A lack of supply will prove economically disastrous for these businesses and the people who are employed by them.   

For more information about this issue, view:

Why Pet Shops Laws Affect You

Attacks That Doomed 'The Greatest Show on Earth' Portend Trouble for Pet Lovers 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  AB 485 is scheduled to be considered by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on Tuesday, April 18.  It is imperative that all California animal lovers, including dog and cat breeders and owners and enthusiasts, contact the committee and express their opposition to AB 485 by Monday, April 10th.   

First, go to https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/faces/register.xhtml to create an account that allows you to contact the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.  Once registered and logged in, please enter AB 485 in the “Measure” search box.  After searching, describe your current position as “Oppose unless Amended”, attach your letter of concern addressed to the Honorable Rudy Salas, Jr., Chair of the Business and Professions Committee, and click “Submit”. 

Second, you may contact committee members and consultants as follows:   

Rudy Salas, Jr., Chairman  
State Capitol, Room 4016, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0032 
Assemblymember.Salas@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2032 Fax. (916) 319-2132 

William P. Brough, Vice Chairman  
State Capitol, Room 3141, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0073 
Assemblymember.Brough@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2073 Fax. (916) 319-2173 

Joaquin Arambula, MD  
State Capitol, Room 5155, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0031 
Assemblymember.Arambula@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2031 Fax. (916) 319-2131 

Catharine B. Baker  
State Capitol, Room 2130, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0016 
Assemblymember.Baker@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2016 Fax. (916) 319-2116 

Richard Bloom  
State Capitol, Room 2003, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0050 
Assemblymember.Bloom@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2050 Fax. (916) 319-2150 

David Chiu  
State Capitol, Room 4112, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0017 
Assemblymember.Chiu@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2017 Fax. (916) 319-2117 

Jordan Cunningham  
State Capitol, Room 4102, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0035 
Assemblymember.Cunningham@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2035 Fax. (916) 319-2135 

Brian Dahle  
State Capitol, Room 4098, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0001 
Assemblymember.Dahle@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2001 Fax. (916) 319-2101 

Susan Talamantes Eggman  
State Capitol, Room 4117, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0013 
Assemblymember.Eggman@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2013 Fax. (916) 319-2113 

Mike A. Gipson  
State Capitol, Room 3173, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0064
Assemblymember.Gipson@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2064 Fax. (916) 319-2164 

Timothy S. Grayson  
State Capitol, Room 4164, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0014  
Assemblymember.Grayson@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2014 Fax. (916) 319-2114 

Chris R. Holden  
State Capitol, Room 5136, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0041 
Assemblymember.Holden@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2041 Fax. (916) 319-2141 

Evan Low  
State Capitol, Room 4126, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0028 
Assemblymember.Low@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2028 Fax. (916) 319-2128 

Kevin Mullin  
State Capitol, Room 3160, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0022 
Assemblymember.Mullin@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2022 Fax. (916) 319-2122 

Marc Steinorth  
State Capitol, Room 5128, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0040 
Assemblymember.Steinorth@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2040 Fax. (916) 319-2140 

Philip Y. Ting  
State Capitol, Room 6026, P. O. Box 94289, Sacramento, CA 94249-0019 
Assemblymember.Ting@assembly.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-2019 Fax. (916) 319-2119 

Committee Consultants 

Elissa Silva, Consultant  
Assembly Committee on Business and Professions  
Legislative Office Building, 1020 N. "N" Street, Room 383, Sacramento, CA 95381 
Elissa.Silva@asm.ca.gov  
Tel. (916) 319-3301 Fax. (916) 319-3306 

Gabby Nepomuceno  
Assembly Committee on Business and Professions  
Legislative Office Building, 1020 N. "N" Street, Room 383, Sacramento, CA 95381 
Tel. (916) 319-3301 Fax. (916) 319-3306 

The American Kennel Club will continue to provide updates on AB 485 as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org.