California will become the first state in the country to mandate that all dogs, cats, and rabbits that are sold in pet stores come from non-profit organizations or animal shelters. Governor Jerry Brown signed the law into practice last Friday, and it will take effect beginning in 2019.

The purpose of the legislation is to reduce the inhumane breeding of animals in places like “kitten factories” and “puppy mills,” aiming to put an end to these unsanitary environments in which animals are also often abused.

Pet store owners who fail to follow the law will be fined $500 for each animal that is not from an approved organization. The goal of these practices is to put pressure on breeders who are taking advantage of these creatures, while also reducing the cost that California taxpayers are burdened with to euthanize the less-fortunate animals in shelters.

Patrick O’Donnell, the assembly member who wrote the bill, further elaborated on the success of the legislation.

“I am very grateful for the strong support we received from animal-lovers across the state and from Social Compassion in Legislation, the bill’s sponsor,” he said.

“This is a big win for our four-legged friends, of course,” O’Donnell continued. “But also for California taxpayers who spend more than $250 million annually to house and euthanize animals in our shelters.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also weighed in, with CEO Matt Bershadker thanking the California legislature for following through with their work.

“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,” Bershadker noted.

Previously, the bill was opposed by the American Kennel Club and California Retailers Association, who claimed that the absence of licensed, professional breeders would prevent pet buyers from attaining certain animals.

However, organizations that advocate for animal rights had a much different attitude, with non-profits like PETA applauding the efforts. Governor Jerry Brown’s dog even updated its Twitter feed, thanking her dad for helping out her fellow furry friends.

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