Ban Predatory Lending Related to Companion Animal Sales (California)
An act to add Section 122191 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to online pet retailers
This California state bill prohibits the financing of purchases of dogs and cats, often used in the sale of animals bred in puppy or kitten mills and sold online.
September 26, 2022
Signed into law by Governor Newsom on 9/26/22.
Predatory lending schemes have victimized numerous puppy and kitten buyers, while helping to prop up the inhumane puppy mill and kitten mill industries.
A new California bill aims to stop predatory loans that finance the purchase of dogs and cats.
A.B. 2380, authored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-77) and sponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, would prohibit online pet retailers from offering consumer loans to borrowers for the purchase of a dog, cat, or rabbit.
Predatory financing often leads to financial hardship for borrowers due to initially undisclosed and exorbitant interest rates and hidden fees.
These loans enable animals bred in puppy and kitten mills — commercial breeders that provide inadequate care and prioritize profit over the animals’ well-being — to be sold for thousands of dollars to families who may otherwise be unable to afford them.
An offer of financing can be a key part of a pet stores’ sales pitch. Predatory lenders appear to make it easy for potential buyers by offering the chance to instantaneously apply for seemingly low or no-interest short-term financing — even for those with bad or no credit. Full disclosure of interest rates, fees, payoff amount, and general loan terms are not available until after a loan application is made.
To combat the problem of predatory lending during companion animal sales, California lawmakers should pass A.B. 2380 to prohibit the financing of dogs and cats. This legislation would not prohibit the purchase of a companion animal with a credit card; it would merely stop predatory lenders from offering consumer loans to borrowers for these purchases.
Illinois recently enacted a law prohibiting the financing of companion animals, and Pennsylvania is currently considering similar legislation. California can, once again, be a national leader in both animal and consumer protection policies by passing this measure. This would effectively block the puppy-mill-to-consumer pipeline by obstructing this profit center that exploits vulnerable consumers.
California previously addressed the sale of animals bred on mills and sold in pet stores with the passage of a landmark statewide retail pet sales ban in 2017, augmented by subsequent loophole-closing legislation in 2018 and 2020. The retail pet sales ban represents major progress in the fight against puppy and kitten mill cruelty, but it was silent on online sales.
No More Puppy Mills
Puppy mill operators maximize their profits by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly as possible. As a result, unsanitary conditions, disease, and neglect are rampant. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills. Together we can end this cruel industry.