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State Bill Would Ban Puppy Breeding for Profit

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San Diego Assemblyman Todd Gloria unveiled a new bill that aims to end the practice of puppy breeding for profit. AB 2152, also known as “Bella’s Act,” would effectively prohibit the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores. Pet stores would no longer be able to receive compensation from pet adoptions or for using store resources to facilitate adoption events. 

“When we have animals in California who are still being bred and raised in unhealthy and inhumane conditions for profit, we cannot turn a blind eye,” Gloria said. “Bella’s Act will fulfill our promise to end the inhumane puppy mill industry by officially prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in California and encouraging pet retailers to partner with rescue groups and shelters. We will no longer continue to facilitate or tolerate puppy mill cruelty in California.”

The bill gets its name after a corgi named Bella who was bred in a puppy mill and sent to a pet store in San Diego County. After being advertised as a rescue, Bella was sold for thousands of dollars under an “adoption fee.” After a short time, the puppy developed a severe case of bronchitis, causing its owner to spend thousands to get her healthy again. Gloria recounts the story of Bella and her owner, citing it as the inspiration behind the name of the bill.

California currently has a prohibition in effect barring retail stores from selling cats, dogs, or rabbits to customers unless they have a cooperative agreement with a shelter or humane society. Despite this, investigations conducted by the San Diego Humane Society has found that a number of local pet stores have used loopholes to get around the ban, citing 102 violations discovered in total. 

Bella’s Act, if passed, will close these loopholes for good, preventing unscrupulous pet stores from circumventing the law. The bill has garnered support from the San Diego Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“As San Diego Humane Society’s humane law enforcement officers attempted to enforce the provisions of previous legislation, it became clear that loopholes exist for unscrupulous pet store owners to continue shipping puppy mill puppies into our state for local pet store sales,” said Bill Ganley, chief of humane law enforcement for the San Diego Humane Society. “It is obvious to us that the only solution is to cleanly ban retail sales and remove the profit incentive for bad actors to continue harmful business practices.

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