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SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 2380, which prohibits online pet retailers from offering consumer loans for dogs and cats. This measure is another step forward in limiting the number of animals raised in puppy and kitten mills purchased in California.
In 2019, a retail ban on dogs and cats came into effect but did not extend to online sales. According to data from transportation and courier companies that facilitate animal transportation, California is the top importer of dogs and cats in the country. Online sales allow puppy mills to continue to reach California customers through the camouflage of clean images and obfuscated source information. Most of the major online brokers who transport puppies to clients in the state offer financing.
Funding can be a key component of animal sales proposals. Average consumers may not be able to afford to spend thousands of dollars on a puppy, but predatory lenders can easily turn casual browsers into buyers by including a link to instantly apply for seemingly low or no short-term financing. interest – even for those with bad or no credit. Full disclosure of interest rates, fees, repayment amount and loan terms and conditions is only available after loan application and – importantly – after an emotional connection with a photo and desire to buy a particular animal.
“Predatory puppy financing can increase rates of impulse puppy purchases, causing financial hardship for borrowers and young puppies whose families do not have the resources to properly care for them,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The same lenders that dominated the pet retail market now have a strong online presence and are going after Californians. This new law will protect both consumers and animals.
“Purchasing a pet is an exciting time for many, but these vulnerabilities are often exploited by exploitative online lenders offering attractive but predatory loans,” Assembly Member Brian Maienschein said. “AB 2380 will protect California consumers by prohibiting online pet retailers from offering consumer loans for the purchase of a dog or cat.”
The bill passed the legislature in August 2022 after being introduced in California in February 2022 by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) to the Assembly. Sponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the law prohibits retailers from facilitating consumer loans to individuals for the purchase of cats and dogs.
In 2021, Illinois enacted a law, known as the Holmes Law, banning pet funding. Pennsylvania is considering similar legislation.