Adopt a Furry Friend, Save a Life!
Last year, 6.5 million animals entered into shelters. An estimated 1.5 million of those animals were euthanized. Shelters and rescues lack the resources and time to save the sizable amount of animals that are abandoned everyday. Today, California is one step closer to addressing this problem. Last Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Assembly Bill 485 which requires all pet stores to sell only dogs, cats, and rabbits from rescues or animal shelters by January 2019.
Lawmakers hope to achieve two goals. First, they hope to increase the number of animals which are adopted each year. Last year, taxpayers spent over $250 million in support of animal shelters. Second, large-scale breeding facilities will loose their grip on the market. “Puppy mills” and other breeding operations keep their animals in wretched conditions. The animals lack fresh food and water, necessary veterinarian care, live in cramped and dirty conditions, and females are bred unmercifully until they are euthanized. These operations are a blight on our society, and need to be eradicated.
While the public’s general sentiment towards this bill is supportive, there are detractors. Some pet store owners believe that requiring their pets to be adoptable will put them out of business. For smaller shops, the majority of their revenue comes from selling dogs and cats, not the smaller purchases of food, toys, etc. Even though I support this bill entirely, I do understand their concern. However, I believe that the positive impact it will have greatly outweighs the growing pains.
As with any new regulation, there will be winners and losers. When regulations were placed on the use of coal, we saw the same thing happen. The coal mining industry dramatically declined and there was a loss of jobs. However, new jobs were established collecting other fuel sources and our environment was safe-guarded. I believe the same will happen with Assembly Bill 435. Yes, puppy mills and some pet stores will go out-of-business, but rescues and animal shelters will grow. New jobs will be created and animal welfare will increase. Every action has a balancing reaction.
For an overview of the bill click here.