Did you know? Most of the cuddly, adorable puppies found in pet stores were sourced from puppy mills. A puppy mill is a commercial dog-breeding facility that, more often than not, is focused on profits versus the well-being of the animals. As DoSomething reports, the female dogs are bred incessantly and rarely have to time to recover between litters. After just a few years, they are physically depleted and cannot reproduce, so they are killed.

Many of the puppies rescued from puppy mills have injuries, such as bleeding or swollen paws, feet falling through wire cages, severe tooth decay, ear infections, dehydration and lesions which may lead to blindness. The fact of the matter is, the animals are not well-cared for, which is why cities — and now states — are banning the sale of puppies sourced from the facilities.

Credit: Top Dog Tips

Every year in America, approximately 2.11 million puppies are sold through pet stores, that were originally sourced from a puppy mill. This continues, despite the fact that 3 million dogs are killed in shelters every year because there aren’t enough adoptive homes. It’s asinine, yet it persists — at least in all states except California.

Today, California became the first state to ban the sale of animals from puppy mills. The Seattle Times reports that Governor Jerry Brown announced that he signed a law requiring pet stores to “work with animal shelters or rescue operations” if they desire to sell dogs, cats or rabbits. The law still allows private breeders to sell the animals to pet stores.

The state measure, AB485, seeks to ensure better treatment of animals. Before Governor Brown signed the bill into law, thirty-six cities — including Los Angeles and San Francisco — passed similar bans on mass breeding operations.

Those who oppose the development, primarily puppy mill facilities and the pet store industry, say the measure removes “important consumer protections.” Animal rights advocates would argue that it is essential to put the health of the animals before certain humans’ desires.

Consider this: there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the US, but fewer than 3,000 are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a result, many facilities get by without providing proper veterinary care, climate control or protection for the animal from the elements. And, because there are limited or no regulations or enforcement in most states, puppy mills have no cleanup control. This is why volunteers have found animals cemented in their own urine and feces in previous puppy mill raids. Fortunately, fewer raids will occur in California, now that AB485 was passed.

h/t The Seattle Times, Do Something