ASPCA Commends California Lawmakers for Enacting Critical Animal Protection Bills in October

Gov. Jerry Brown signs three measures to crack down on deceptive pet selling practices and expand pet-friendly housing options
October 16, 2017

CALIFORNIA—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown for enacting several humane measures with his signature during the week of October 9. The new measures, which were strongly supported by the ASPCA, will prohibit deceptive practices by the pet industry, and expand the number of pet-friendly homes in the state.

“This year, California lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a measure that will expand housing opportunities for people with pets, as well as two measures that seek to limit the deceptive and inhumane practices of the cruel puppy mill industry in California,” said Susan Riggs, senior director of state legislation for the ASPCA, western region. “The enactment of these new laws will help keep animals out of shelters and in loving homes, and we thank Governor Brown for enacting these measures to advance California’s long history of humane leadership.”

California lawmakers passed the following humane measures in 2017:

  • A.B. 1137, sponsored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein: makes future housing developments financed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) pet-friendly, opening up thousands of new housing opportunities for families and their pets.
  • A.B. 1491, sponsored by Assemblymember Anna Caballero: prohibits deceptive and predatory financing of “pet leasing” schemes that do not immediately transfer ownership of a pet to a buyer, including “rent to own” and “retail installment contracts”.
  • A.B. 485, sponsored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell: prevents California pet stores from selling commercially raised dogs, cats and rabbits, and encourages partnerships that promote the adoption of homeless pets.

According to ASPCA research, housing is a primary reason that renters re-home their pets, with 36 percent of re-homed pets being sent to shelters. Approximately 18% of animals in Los Angeles shelters -- or over 30,000 dogs and cats -- are there because families surrendered them due to problems with housing.

“Keeping people and pets together frees up critical shelter space and supplies for other animals in need,” said Riggs. “AB 1137 will open up thousands of housing opportunities for families, so they aren’t forced to make the impossible choice between their pets and their homes.”

Beginning in 2014, the ASPCA introduced and implemented a number of programs in partnership with Los Angeles County shelters with the goal of increasing the number of animals’ lives saved at these shelters. For more information about the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit