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California Will Become First State to Require Pet Stores to Sell Only Rescue Animals

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California will become the first state in the U.S. to prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores unless the animals are from a rescue organization.

The new law, titled AB 485, is an effort to crack down on puppy mills. Starting on Jan 1. 2019, California pet shops will only be allowed to sell dogs, cats, and rabbits from shelters and rescues.

The law will “require all sales of dogs and cats authorized by this provision to be in compliance with laws requiring the spaying or neutering of animals, as specified.”

AB 485 would also require each pet store to maintain records sufficient to document the source of each dog, cat, or rabbit the pet store sells and would authorize public animal control agencies or shelters to periodically require pet stores engaged in sales of dogs, cats, or rabbits to provide access to those records.

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Write to Gina Martinez at gina.martinez@time.com