On April 18, Co-Founder Andrew Kim will travel to Sacramento to speak in front of the California State Assembly to support a bill Healthy Spot finds extremely important. We sat down with Andrew to talk about the Bill and why Healthy Spot feels so passionately about it.
Tell us about where you are going and why.
AK: I am going to the California State Assembly to speak on behalf of the bill AB-485, which is the Pet Rescue & Adoption Act. It is legislation that is being proposed to ban the sales of dogs, cats, and other animals through California pet stores.
Why Do You Think This Is Important?
AK: I believe this would be codifying what is already a best business practice. When Mark and I first started in the business about 9 years ago, there were a lot of stores that used to sell puppy mill dogs and cats and now businesses have found a more humane option and that’s something we’ve always believed since day one. There are still too many dogs and cats that are being euthanized in the shelters because people are buying pets, so we think that this bill will help reduce the number of animals being euthanized.
Where Do Pet Stores Get the Pets They Sell and Why Is It Unethical?
AK: Some stores get their pets from puppy mills. These are large facilities that basically do factory farming of pets with over-breeding of pets for pure economic gain. This is just not a good business practice and it helps contribute to the overpopulation in the shelters.
How Did You Get Involved in This Bill?
AK: One of the organizers of the bill is someone we worked with seven years ago when they were first introducing the concept here in L.A. So we spoke in front of the .LA. Assembly and we also spoke on behalf of West Hollywood when they banned so we’ve been very active in promoting a more humane option through pet stores. As a result, they’ve asked us to speak as they are pushing this through now from a city-level ordinance to a state-wide ordinance.
AK: Our role is just being good stewards of the community. We care about pets and elevating their standard of care. We also think that not selling dogs and cats in stores will force businesses to partner with local rescue groups and provide more adoption options. In doing research for this bill, they have found that more pet stores are doing rescue events and they are finding a lift in their business. So it’s good for them to do adoption events while being able to address a need in the community.
What is Healthy Spot’s Role in This Initiative?
Why Do You Think People Chose To Buy Pets At Pet Stores Instead of Adopt?AK: I think 1: Education. Some people just don’t know. They see the cute dog or cat in the pet store and they think they’ve been raised in this great place and they don’t know better. 2: I think there’s this misconception that if you get a rescue pet, you’re always going to get a mutt or a mix. There are a lot of groups that will help you find purebreds. 3: People believe that you can’t get puppies and there are plenty of puppies and kittens that you can find for adoption!
What Can People Do to Support This Bill and Get Involved?AK: Call your California State Assembly Person and also vocalize the importance of adopting. A lot of this is awareness. When we first started [in the pet industry], the adoption option wasn’t the right option - it was growing. Now I think more and more people are aware of the challenges [with overpopulation in shelters] and that helps turns trends into laws so that is what we are hoping for.
Any Closing Thoughts?There is no direct benefit for our business. We just think this is the right thing. Being part of the larger pet community, we want to be able to vocalize as an example for the California State Assembly that you can run a successful and thriving business without the need of selling puppies, kittens, or rabbits. That’s been one of the big opposing arguments – if you stop selling these animals, you are going to go out of business. We haven’t sold a single one and we are growing. They want to use us as an example that humane pet stores can be successful.