On Oct. 13, California Gov. Jerry Brown made history as he signed Assembly Bill 485 into law. The statewide legislation will take effect in 2019, making it illegal for pet stores to sell dogs, cats, and rabbits unless they arrive from a shelter or rescue. This will allow more homeless animals in shelters and rescues to find homes and also close the California pet store market to puppy mills across the nation.
Iowa can take some credit for this legislation, however, not in any positive way. As our legislators refuse to adequately protect companion animals, our puppy mill industry thrives as one of the worst in the nation.
Iowa is currently home to more than 200 large-scale, federally-licensed dog breeding facilities that value profit over the well-being of their dogs and puppies. This results in inhumane conditions for the adult breeding dogs and ill puppies with lifelong behavioral issues. The costs of which too often fall on individual consumers unknowingly purchasing puppy mill puppies or the shelters and rescues taking in discarded adult breeding dogs.
Twenty other states have enacted regional retail pet store bans, with small town Fraser being the latest. All want to keep Iowa puppy mill puppies out of their communities.
It’s time we tackle this homegrown problem at its roots. It’s time our own legislators prioritize companion animal welfare. And it’s time we all take a stand to kick puppy mills out of Iowa. Never buy a puppy from a pet store or online and contact your legislators today. Iowa’s dogs are depending on you.
Haley Anderson, Des Moines