California bans the purchase of dogs, cats and rabbits online with credit cards

NEWS AND COMMENT-CALIFORNIA, USA: California with New York State are, it is my belief, the two most progressive US states in respect of animal welfare and California have progressed animal welfare in their state a little further in enacting (bringing into law) an act which bans the purchase of dogs, cats and rabbits purchased online with a loan or other financing option. My interpretation is that it bans people using credit to purchase cats and dogs and rabbits online i.e., using credit cards.

California law bans buying cats, dogs and rabbits online with a load which must include credit cards
California law bans buying cats, dogs and rabbits online with a load which must include credit cards. Image: MikeB
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I also understand that the objective is to supress a little harder the supply of commercially bred puppies and kittens and rabbits. They are often bred in unsavoury conditions and without proper (or any) concern for their welfare. And selling online is a very dubious way for a person to adopt these animals. On a personal level, I would strongly advise against it under any circumstances. There are too many scams in any case with purchasing online and if I was in charge of California, I would ban the sale of companion animals online completely.

I digress. In 2019 California banned the retail sale of animals in pet stores. This concerns person-to-person sales in a store, so this new law goes a step further. And Nathan Winograd, reiterates what I’ve just stated above in saying that “the next step is banning online sales of commercially-bred animals altogether”.

California bans the use of credit to by cats, dogs and rabbits online

The new law can be viewed online and by clicking the link above for those who are interested in legal issues. The bill is number 2380. It is Chapter 548 and is described as “An act to add Section 122191 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to online pet retailers. It was approved by the governor on September 26, 2022. In the words of the bill:

“This bill would prohibit an online pet retailer, as defined, from offering, brokering, making a referral for, or otherwise facilitating a loan or other financing option for the adoption or sale of a dog, cat, or rabbit. The bill would not apply to a loan or other financing option for the purchase of a service animal.”

You will note that it states that the bill would prohibit an online pet retailer… As the bill has now become law this has happened.

They define “online pet retailer” as “a person engaged in the business of selling dogs, cats or rabbits, at retail, online through an Internet website”.

They state that an online retailer shall not “offer, broker, make a referral for, or otherwise facilitate the loan or other financing option for the adoption or sale of a dog, cat or rabbit.

My interpretation of this means that you cannot buy these animals online using a credit card or any other form of loan. You can buy them using a debit card. The law does not apply to service animals which is sensible.

Nathan Winograd says that commercial breeders “engage in systematic neglect and abuse of animals, leaving severe emotional and physical scars on the victims”.

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