Bella’s Act, which completely prohibits the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in California, took effect on Jan. 1. The legislation aims to end the practice of selling animals who have been bred and raised in unhealthy, inhumane conditions in out-of-state puppy mills.
San Diego Humane Society sponsored AB 2152, written by California State Assembly member Todd Gloria, now mayor of San Diego, to crack down on the illicit and inhumane puppy mill industry that supplies pet stores in our state. The animals are raised in deplorable conditions and are often unhealthy, leading to heartbreaking discoveries once in homes, according to Humane Society officials.
Bella’s Act was named for Bella, a Corgi who was bred in one of these puppy mills, the Humane Society stated. Bella was advertised as a rescue dog in a San Diego pet store and sold for thousands of dollars — this was billed as her “adoption fee.” During this experience, Bella was declawed and developed a severe case of bronchitis. It cost her owner thousands of dollars in prolonged veterinary care to get her healthy.
Ramona’s The Rescued Pup owner Michelle Robertson-Clark, who adopts out mostly puppies but occasionally cats, rabbits and turkeys, said the new law will help prevent deceptive retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits by setting a $500 limit on the price of these pets.
Robertson-Clark said puppy mills were circumventing the previous law, AB 485, by creating fake rescues to sell their dogs to pet stores. She said the puppy mills