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On April 18, Democrat Patrick O’Donnell presented assembly Bill 485 at the Capitol in Sacramento, proposing a restriction on all pet stores in California to only sell dogs, cats and rabbits that have been rescued from a shelter or an animal control agency.


The point of the bill is to prohibit pet stores from buying animals from breeders or puppy mills which the assemblyman says have “disturbingly unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.” It would also have people directly buy the animals from the breeders so they can see the conditions in which they live.

Many pet stores have registered in the opposition bill and many pet store representatives have attended a committee hearing on the matter, saying that this bill would hurt their businesses in California. It might be expected that dog breeders have been complaining as well and on the opposing side of this bill but Math and Science teacher Charles Boyd Defrietas agrees with the bill.


Defrietas and his husband breed miniature pinschers on the side, but unlike the fame other breeders get, they put much care into breeding their dogs. “So there’s actually a mathematical formula that we follow so we aren’t inbreeding our dogs, so there’s actually a lot of math science behind it that we follow. Basically, a dog can’t show until six months, after six months you can start showing a dog. Once it finishes, typically we find a really good home for the dog, sometimes dogs get kept if they’re a really good quality for breeding and then we’ll plan maybe one or two breedings a year but never more than that because again it’s not about the puppy mill thing.”


When asked about his opinion on the bill, he agreed with it but pointed out that it wouldn’t impact private breeders. “The pet stores that sell their pets should be using adoption centers anyway, the law doesn’t prohibit private selling. In a lot of those cases is what happens in the puppy stores is that most of those dogs do come from puppy mills and so the law would actually kind of decrease that puppy mill issue… As of right now I don’t see the impact it would have on private breeders.”


The bill also helps unwanted animals find homes. The world is overpopulated with unwanted animals, yet people are still breeding dogs and cats to make a profit off of them. Shelters across the nation are full of these unwanted animals, so much that 7.6 million animals enter shelters annually: out of these, 2.7 million are euthanized.

When the bill was presented, lawmakers voted 44-6 when deciding on whether or not to send the bill to the state Senate. The Senate has yet to get back to them with their decision.

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