California will become the first state to ban puppy mills when a new law takes effect in 2019.
The law would require pet store owners to only sell dogs, cats and rabbits that come from animal shelters, rescue groups or adoption centers.
Pet store owners that violate the law could face $500 fines. No such law exists in Colorado, but the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture regulates all private and nonprofit pet sellers.
According to data from the Dept. of Agriculture, there are 22 large-scale breeding facilities in Colorado and 157 small-scale breeding facilities. Through the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act, or PACFA, the state licenses and inspects all pet care facilities.
The Dumb Friends League could not comment specifically on the California legislation, but spokeswoman Maia Brusseau said the nonprofit generally supports any law that prevents people from profiting from the suffering of animals.
“You know, there’s always room for change. There’s always room for growth and we’re always looking at new ways to help protect animals as much as we can,” Brusseau said.
Brusseau added that issues dealing with animal suffering and cruelty are important to Coloradans.
“We have such an amazing, compassionate community, so we’re always looking for ways to make changes and make sure animals are protected and safe."
Some pet owners in California are opposed to the new law because they fear it will hurt business and make it harder for people to find the most popular breeds.
The California law banning puppy mills takes effect January 1, 2019.