New York and California Legislative Updates
Banning the Sale of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits at Pet Shops
Money talks. We all know it. The purveyors of mill-bred animals know it, too—it’s the whole reason they created their twisted industry. To make money. Here at CAPS, we also know the power of the dollar; therefore, we’ve been targeting pet shops and puppy mills in their most vulnerable spot. Their wallets. We’re helping enact state laws to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits. These kinds of statewide efforts are a natural progression from our work on municipal ordinances, which started in 2010 in West Hollywood, California. Currently, CAPS is facilitating statewide legislation in California, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
Evidence from our undercover investigations is key to the passage of these retail bans. This is especially true in states with lots of pet shops. When CAPS helps draft legislation, we first investigate all of the pet shops in a given state and some of the mills supplying them. Then we create videos that expose the pet shops’ fraud and reveal the disturbing sources of their animals.
Read below for an update on our work to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in California and New York.
Senate Bill 4234 and Assembly Bill 6298
In May, CAPS released a compelling 13-minute documentary about our five-year investigation of every New York pet shop (we went to more than 100) and many of the puppy and kitten mills selling to them.
Our documentary is a critical piece of evidence for state legislation, S4234 and A6298, which would ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits. With 77 New York pet shops currently selling dogs and cats, a statewide retail ban would deny animal mills access to their largest market. The New York Senate Domestic Animal Welfare Committee voted 7 – 0 to pass S4234. The bill is awaiting a full senate vote, then the Assembly Agriculture Committee will take up A6298 and hopefully vote the bill onto the Assembly floor.
New York residents: Please ask your state legislators to support S4234 and A6298. Find your legislators here:
National City Ordinance
After the enactment of The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act on January 1, 2019, CAPS investigators went undercover to the 19 pet shops still selling puppies. Three pet shops in Los Angeles and Los Angeles County were selling puppies they had bred or were obtaining puppies from local breeders. Sixteen pet shops were selling purebred and designer mill-bred puppies from two fraudulent rescues – fronts for USDA-licensed dog brokers in Missouri and Iowa. Watch the CAPS video exposé about our investigation of the California pet shops selling fraudulent rescue puppies.
CAPS worked with the National City city attorney on an ordinance that closes the loophole in The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act (AB 485), which has been allowing pet shops to “adopt out” mill-bred animals from fraudulent rescues. The National City ordinance, which went into effect in October but is being legally challenged by pet shop owner David Salinas, prohibits pet shops from earning money from adoption or adoption event fees. It also bans any ownership or monetary interest in the animals being offered for adoption. Salinas, who owns 10 pet shops, hired a petition company that fraudulently gathered enough signatures to place the ordinance on a ballot referendum this month. CAPS recently investigated Salinas’ four Utah pet shops because they are offering “rescue” puppies from his California pet shops. His Nevada store is doing the same.
California Assembly Bill 2152 (Bella’s Act)
CAPS is part of a coalition of animal nonprofits that is working on AB 2152, sponsored by Assemblymember Todd Gloria of San Diego. Named “Bella’s Act” after Bella, a Corgi puppy from Broadway Puppies in Escondido, the bill would amend The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act to incorporate the language from the National City ordinance. Bella’s guardian, Heather, filed a complaint with CAPS and attorneys generals in California and Missouri, who, along with Iowa, opened investigations after receiving CAPS’ investigative evidence. Heather thought she was adopting a rescue puppy because Bella came from Pet Connect Rescue in Joplin, Missouri. But Bella was from a puppy mill. She required treatment for pneumonia and has severe separation anxiety.
California residents: Please ask your assemblymember to co-sponsor AB 2152. Find him/her here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
State legislators rely on CAPS’ investigative, legislative and legal expertise to effectively address the cruel pet shop and puppy/kitten mill industry. CAPS, as the nonprofit that pioneered the ordinance movement, is bringing our extensive expertise and comprehensive resources to these critical legislative efforts aimed at banning the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits. The key to passing these laws is evidence. Undercover investigations at pet shops and mills are costly. Your ongoing, generous funding is what makes the victories in this fight possible.
Please donate today.