In October, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed into effect, Assembly Bill 1347, the Pet Store Animal Care Act which imposes stricter laws on the standards for daily care of ALL animals sold in pet stores. The new law also gives enforcement officers the power to ticket pet store owners for violations. Also, veterinary care is required for any illness or injuries, and procedures for euthanasia are spelled out for the first time.
Growing complaints to the Humane Society have triggered this new legislation. Mostly because of the Humane Society’s investigation into the pet store of the stars, Pets of Bel Aire. The pet store has been accused of selling puppies that come from puppy mills in the midwest. Although they state that they do not knowingly buy from puppy mills, there is information that states otherwise.
California law requires that pet retailers “state on each dog’s cage where the dog was bred/brokered.” They also must have the dog examined by a veterinarian and maintain documented health records. All puppies that are for sale must be examined by a veterinarian within 5 days of arriving at the store and at 15 day intervals after that. They also must have enough room to stand up, turn around and lie down without touching the sides of the cage.
Because state law doesn’t require pet stores to be licensed and the state does not handle inspections, it is up the the Humane Society to take care of any complaints. Most often inspections by the Humane Society are conducted after hearing a complaint from a pet store customer. If a customer feels that the pets available are being mistreated in any way, they are urged to contact the local Humane Society.
It is good to see that people are finally realizing that not all pet shops are what they seem. Personally, I prefer to adopt animals from the Humane Society, but that’s your choice if you want to purchase one.