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Friday, August 25, 2017

AKC Government Relations just learned that California Assembly Bill 485 is scheduled for consideration and possible vote by the California Senate on Monday, August 28.  Because this may be the last chance to express opposition to the bill, it is imperative that concerned Californians contact their state senators and express opposition to the proposal now. 

AB 485 seeks to prohibit pet retailers from selling pets (including dogs, cats and 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. 

  • AB 485 harms responsible pet breeders and retailers who are regulated under federal and/or state laws, while encouraging the sale of pets that come from unlicensed and unregulated sources that are not subject to federal animal welfare or California consumer protection laws.
  • AB 485 will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and restrict pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated and uninspected sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations).  
  • AB 485 will dramatically reduce average Californians' access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.  Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.    
  • 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 California 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 local supply will likely increase imports of dogs with potential health and temperament issues and exacerbate recent public health issues (including rabies, brucellosis, canine flu, aggression issues) documented as originating from unregulated/substandard foreign sources. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) 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.   Because it runs counter to these principles, the American Kennel Club opposes AB 485. 

Californians are strongly encouraged to contact their state senators and urge them to vote against AB 485 should it be voted upon on Monday.  Use the points above as justification for opposition against the bill. 

Go to AKC’s Legislative Action Center to contact your California state senator. 

AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates on AB 485 as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3503 or at