California has passed a law that prevents the sale of commercially raised dogs, cats, and rabbits in 'pet' stores across the state.
State Governor Jerry Brown has signed the bill into legislation, which also encourages the adoption of homeless pets.
By adopting the law, California has become the first state in the U.S. to prohibit sales of commercial breeding facilities - also known as puppy mills.
California now joins more than 230 citites, towns, and counties across the U.S. that have passed the ordinance to take a stand against the cruelly-bred animals to be sold in the their communities.
Puppy mills are known to keep animals in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water, or socialization.
As a result, animals bred in these conditions can suffer from deadly diseases and congenital defects.
The new law, called Assembly Bill 485, sends the message that cruelty is not tolerated in our society.
Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) stated: "We're proud to be part of the coalition that worked alongside Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell to pass this critical animal protection bill, and thank the California legislature and Governor Brown for sending the clear message that industries supporting animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our society."
"By signing this groundbreaking bill, California has set an important, humane precedent for other states to follow," added Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society.
Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society commented: "This is a significant milestone in easing the overcrowding of homeless animals in California shelters, relieving county budgets and stopping the abusive puppy mill industry."