Bill AB 485: Stopping puppy mills in their tracks

Photographer+%3A+Daisy+Roman+
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Bill AB 485: Stopping puppy mills in their tracks

Photographer : Daisy Roman

Photographer : Daisy Roman

Photographer : Daisy Roman

Photographer : Daisy Roman

Valerie Torres, Reporter

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In California about 1 million dogs and cats are brought into shelters and 500,000 are euthanized every year. Judie Mancuso, founder of the group Social Compassion in Legislation, is making a difference.

Judie founded the SCIL in 2007, but her love for animals started when she was young and wanted to be a vet to help animals as much as she could.Her strong sense of empathy for animals is what led her towards legislation to be a bigger help.

“When I would look into my dog’s eyes, I looked at them and I felt like I could feel another human”

Her creation, bill AB 485 is to help animals in shelters get homes and stop inhumane conditions for animals in puppy mills. Puppy mills are places where dogs are bred nonstop and treated poorly, then sold to consumers for $3,000+ per dog. Many pet shops buy from these puppy mills and continue to keep them in business.

Bill AB 485 will make it illegal for pet shops in California to buy animals from these puppy mills/commercial animal breeders, making it so that pet shops have no choice but to get their animals from shelters and rescue centers. The bill was first tested in a local jurisdiction in Los Angeles California. After 5 years of being in place, the population at shelters fell and more animals were being adopted.

The bill’s success led Judie to take it to the state with the help of Patrick O’Donnell, an American politician on the California state Assembly. The bill passed, but was delayed until January 2019 to give pet shops time to adjust. The bill was met with opposition from a mid-western puppy mill called “Pet Land”, which sent a lobbyist to fight the bill. Some pet shop owners also have opinions on said bill: in an article in the New York times, Ben Ashel states that “The new law might have unintended effects by motivating more consumers to order dogs online or find sneakier ways to acquire the breeds they want.”

The law will continue to be in place in California, and other states are beginning to create similar bills of their own. Communities have had a positive opinion on the bill, especially those in the animal rescue circles. The public can also help animal overpopulation and keep animals out of shelters by spaying or neutering their animals and microchipping them to prevent them from getting lost and sent to animal shelters.

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