I have great news to share with you! Here in California, we are a big step closer to eliminating puppy mills AND helping shelter dogs to get adopted. It’s called the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, and will be voted on by the California Assembly this week (on May 31, 2017). Please join Positively Woof to make a difference for animal welfare by signing this petition.
I’m also happy because the joint author of this innovative new bill is Matt Dababneh, who is my home community’s State Assemblymember.
In Positively Woof’s continuing series on shelter dogs and advocacy, here’s my interview with Matt Dababneh.
P-Woof: Welcome, Assemblymember Dababneh. Why do we need a new law like AB-485: The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act?
Matt Dababneh: AB 485 is a critical step toward ending the sale of companion animals that are inhumanely mass produced for profit. Puppy mills and their awful breeding practices continue to persist throughout our nation. Due to the lack of public information, tracking and government oversight, most people are unaware that many of those animals sold at pet stores actually come from these inhumane operators. Thus, pet stores that purchase these puppies from mills for resale allow this abysmal treatment of animals to persist. By making it illegal to sell animals in pet stores, my legislation encourages pet stores to partner with local adoption and rescue groups to find homes for these pets, instead of purchasing pets from puppy mills throughout the U.S.
P-Woof: Why now and why you?
Matt Dababneh: I’ve successfully worked on these issues in the past and believe it’s
important for the state to take a stand against the inhumane treatment of animals. This past December, I visited four local rescue facilities – including Vanderpump Dogs – to learn more about the disgraceful practices exhibited at puppy mills and how Los Angeles passed a local ordinance against the sale of these animals at pet shops. I believe strongly that this local practice should be mimicked statewide, which is why when Assemblymember O’Donnell introduced this bill I knew I had to become a Joint Author.
P-Woof: What’s your personal story with pets, and how are you impacted personally, even philosophically?
Matt Dababneh: Growing up with two dogs, I’ve always been a lover of animals. To many of us, pets are part of the family that deserve to be treated humanely and not as a commodity purely for financial gain. It wasn’t until I started volunteering for various animal rights organizations that I fully grasped the tough reality that there are lots of bad individuals who do not treat animals morally or with respect. Mahatma Gandhi said it best, “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” AB 485 is a way for California to not only make tangible progress toward the end of puppy mills but also take a philosophical stand against the deplorable practices exhibited in these awful operations.