California has become the first state to completely ban the sale of animals coming from mills. A hefty penalty of up to $500 will be imposed on anyone who is caught selling dogs, cats, or rabbits that came out of a mill. This move in favor of putting an end to animal cruelty encourages pet shops to bring in animals from rescue services, shelters, and humane breeders.

The announcement came last Friday from California Governor Jerry Brown. Pet stores who do not comply with this new rule will be slapped with a hefty fine that will come into full force on January 1, 2019.

The delay is meant to give store owners time to comply and form connections with local animal shelters, animal rescue services, and licensed breeders.

Puppy mill tragedies

Puppy Mills have been condemned for quite some time due to unsanitary living conditions, malnutrition, overbreeding, and poor health of the animals. Mills are known for keeping animals in small cages with very little food or clean water. Overcrowding is a major problem and leads to a multitude of very serious issues, such as deformities, loss of teeth, and emaciation.

This kind of traumatic lifestyle can leave the animals in extremely poor health. Many dogs that have been rescued from such conditions suffer from mental disorders and even problems with aggression.

Some of these dogs are unable to find homes due to these problems.

Rescue missions are always in the works all across the country. Earlier this year, 105 dogs were rescued from a puppy mill in Charlotte, North Carolina. Unlicensed breeder Patricia Yates was shut down and charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty.

Organizations that help

There are many non-profit organizations that do their best to put an end to animal cruelty and animal mills. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has been spearheading the movement against puppy mills for years. Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA told Business Insider that this new legislation in California will help break the puppy mill supply chain.

CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, Gregory Castle, called the anti-puppy mill bill groundbreaking. He went on to praise California Governor Brown, and he said that he hopes other states will follow in Calfornia's footsteps by passing more legislation to put an end to puppy mills once and for all.

Some pet stores claim that they only sell from reputable breeders. Others already help find homes for shelter animals. This new law will ensure that pet shops will no longer get away with supporting the cruel business of animal mills.