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The California Senate Public Safety Committee will hear Assembly Bill 797 which will allow private citizens to remove a companion animal from a vehicle if they believe that the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm.

Dog owners who reside or participate in events in California are encouraged to contact the Public Safety Committee or their Senator prior to the June 28th hearing to express your concerns and ask for modifications to this legislation that protect responsible dog owners whose animals were not in danger.

Summary:

The AKC agrees that no person or animal should ever be left in a situation where their health or safety is in danger.  Those who would leave them in such a situation – including a vehicle – should be held accountable.  However, as currently written, Assembly Bill 797 could lead to lost dogs, property damage, and other unintended consequences.

This legislation would permit anyone to remove an unattended companion animal from a motor vehicle if they believe the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm.  It further states that the person may not be held criminally or civilly liable for any damages. It does not address what would happen if the animal escapes the person’s custody or is injured.

There is also no recourse for the owner for damage incurred when the animal in the car was not in danger, or for protection if the dog harms someone as a result of being removed from the vehicle.   These protections are especially important if the animal flees the car and becomes at large. 

What You Can Do:

  • Contact Assemblymember Steinorth, the bill’s author to ask that modifications be drafted to address the concerns raised above. He can be reached at Assemblymember.Steinorth@Assembly.ca.gov or 916-319-2040.
  • Contact the Members of the Senate Public Safety Committee and alert them to the concerns raised above. (See below)
  • Contact your State Senator and discuss your concerns with him/her.

For questions or more information about this legislation, please contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

Members of the Senate Public Safety Committee

Senator Loni Hancock, Chair
Senator.Hancock@Senate.ca.gov
916-651-4009

Senator Joel Anderson, Vice-Chiar
Senator.Anderson@Senate.ca.gov
916-651-4038

Senator Steven Glazer
Senator.Glazer@Senate.ca.gov
916-651-4007

Senator Mark Leno
Senator.Leno@Senate.ca.gov
916-651-4011

Senator Carol Liu
Senator.Liu@Senate.ca.gov 
916-651-4025

Senator Bill Monning
Senator.Monning@Senate.ca.gov
916-651-4017

Senator Jeff Stone
Senator.Stone@Senate.ca.gov
916-651-4028

The AKC agrees that no person or animal should ever be left in a situation where their health or safety is in danger.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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