California Assembly passage of AB 485 threatens pets, pet lovers, pet biz

Contact Information


Contact: Dustin Siggins

PIJAC Communications Director

(202) 452-1525 Ext. 1080


In a statement issued today, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) expressed disappointment in the California Assembly’s passage of Assembly Bill 485, a bill that bans the sales of cats, dogs, and rabbits statewide.

“The Assembly’s vote in favor of the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act threatens the health and safety of California’s companion animals, pet lovers, and small businesses,” said PIJAC President Mike Bober, one of America’s leading advocates for pet health and safety. “Banning non-rescue, non-shelter pet sales of cats, rabbits, and dogs could close pet stores across the state. This will simultaneously put hundreds of people out of work and reduce the state’s protections for prospective pet owners.”

PIJAC and the responsible pet industry had urged bill sponsor Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell to amend AB 485 with sourcing restrictions. That amendment was rejected. According to Bober, the restrictions would have accomplished O’Donnell’s goal of preventing animal and consumer abuse.

“Restricting sources of companion animals to only the most reputable and ethical breeders would ensure the availability of healthy pets as well as allow Californians the full diversity of choices to find the pet that best fits their needs,” he said. “Pet stores are already far more regulated than their shelter and rescue counterparts, and they often serve companion animal owners with lifestyles that require a pet with specific traits and characteristics. Sourcing restrictions would make sure all parties benefit.”

“Regretfully, the full ban passed by the Assembly will hurt pet lovers across the state, including thousands who have relied on responsible local businesses for pets, pet care, and expert advice,” concluded Bober. “Pet stores care for and about pets every day, and under state law provide warranties for their cats and dogs. Shutting down pet stores means the state’s warranty will also be unenforceable – thus putting pet owners at risk for the expenses associated with poor pet health.”

The bill now goes to the state Senate, where Bober said PIJAC hopes to successfully pass sourcing restriction amendments.

Bober is available for interviews and comments. His most recent commentaries on Assembly Bill 485 can be seen at the Long Beach Post and The San Francisco Examiner, both published earlier this month.