California becomes first state to require pet stores to sell rescue animals only

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new law in California will force pet stores to sell only rescue animals.

Stores will only be able to sell dogs, cats and rabbits that are considered rescue animals.

The law is designed to help stop the sale of mill-bred animals, and to cut down on the abuse seen at puppy mills and kitten factories where animals are often bred in deplorable conditions.

While the California law will also make things harder for what stores consider to be reputable breeders, lawmakers hope the increased sale of rescue animals will also help lessen the strain on shelters.

The bill’s sponsor said California taxpayers spend $250 million to house and to euthanize shelter animals each year.

The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019.