In an effort to crack down on puppy mills, California will be the first state to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits from pet stores thanks to a bill (AB 485) that was signed in October.

This is currently in effect and stated on January 1st, pet stores will only be allowed to offer dogs, cats and rabbits who came from a humane society group, a public animal control agency or shelter, or a rescue group that’s in agreement with at least one private or public shelter.

The public will still be able to buy from breeders, but pet stores will be prohibited from doing so.

While there are many animals stuck in shelters across the country who are waiting for a home, there are neglectful breeders who are profiting off the sale of dogs and cats who have been kept in inhumane conditions.

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman says she’d like to focus on finding homes for those animals rather than encouraging the awful trade of those dogs and cats that are bought from puppy mills.

The Humane Society has sent letters to all local pet stores to inform them of the new law, and the San Diego Humane Society will be one of many organizations who will keep an eye on the stores to make sure they abide by it.

The stores will have to be able to provide records of origin for their animals or they’ll face a $500 fine per animal. They will also have to put a sign on each cage listing the name of entity from which the animal was obtained.