A new dog rescue on Main Street in Ramona will be dedicated to finding forever homes for canines that shelters have a hard time adopting out.
'The Rescued Pup' will be an area where adoptable dogs can run around and play with others while they wait to find homes.
"Usually the dog picks the owner when they come in," said Michelle Robertson-Clark, executive director of the Rescued Pup. "They just kind of fall in love. I never have to do any convincing."
Starting in January 2019, California requires pet stores to sell kittens, rabbits, and puppies that come from a rescue organization or shelter.
With AB 485, California became the first state to implement such strict new rules on pet stores.
Retailers are banned from selling live dogs, cats or rabbits unless the animal was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, humane society group, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter or a rescue group that’s in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter.
The Rescued Pup will house the dogs on Main Street during the day and then have foster families take the canines home at night.
"Shelters reach out and say, 'I've got a doozy here,'" said Clark. "My toughest one, a shelter wouldn't even touch, was a four pound chihuahua. They said he was too vicious. And now he lives with a wonderful family in Fallbrook."
The organization is also one of the only nonprofits in the county to accept underage volunteers as dog walkers.
San Diego County has a few retail pet stores left, including Broadway Puppies in Escondido, which has a sister store in National City.
According to the company’s website, they only use responsible licensed breeders. Come Tuesday, they'll only be able to sell pets from shelters.