This week, I received an email press release from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the American Kennel Club, decrying California governor Jerry Brown’s signing of Bill 485, which institutes “a statewide ban on the sale of non-rescue, non-shelter dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet stores.”
The release says this is bad news for breeders, pet enterprises and the public. I beg to differ. We’ve had this type of legislation here in Toronto for several years now. Vancouver and other large municipalities across Canada are following suit. Yes, it’s bad news for those pet stores that depend on a steady supply of cute puppies and kittens to stay in business. But the ugly realities behind all that cuteness far outweigh peoples’ rights to sell animals for profit.
I have found those stores that embrace this change are doing extremely well. There is a nobler purpose in rehoming rescue pets that makes customers and staff alike feel we’re all in it for the right reasons. And, given the billions of dollars the public still spends on food, toys and supplies, the financial arguments just don’t wash.
As for breeders who fear losing a showcase for their litters, there are other options, especially online. If the AKC isn’t already doing so, they should immediately initiate a program that would give its “seal of approval” to reputable breeders, so internet-based buyers have a way off separating the good wheat from the bad chaff.