California Assembly Bill 2152 – Bella’s Act

Keeping you up to date: Last year, a prohibition went into effect on the sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits in California retail stores unless the animals were acquired from a shelter or rescue group, a tremendous step forward in putting puppy mills out of business.

Sadly, there was abuse of this law, with puppy brokers fraudulently acquiring nonprofit status and misrepresenting the animals they sold to retail outlets as being “rescued,” allowing the stores to charge exorbitant “adoption” fees.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria of San Diego unveiled a new bill last Tuesday that will close these loopholes and enable the original law to work as intended.

AB 2152 — known as “Bella’s Act” — would prohibit the retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits while still allowing pet stores to partner with rescues and shelters for adoption events. The difference? Pet stores would be prevented from receiving any compensation from pet adoptions or for the use of the store and its resources in connection with adoption events.

“Bella’s Act will fulfill our promise to end the inhumane puppy mill industry by officially prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in California and encouraging pet retailers to partner with rescue groups and shelters,” Gloria said. “We will no longer continue to facilitate or tolerate puppy mill cruelty in California.”