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California Assembly Bill 1881 has officially been amended by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee to remove the word “rights”.  The bill now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

While AKC did not get every amendment we requested, we are grateful to the author for agreeing to this compromise and addressing our primary and most significant concerns.

Although the compromise will allow the author to call the bill the “dog and cat bill of rights”, as amended, the official division of law is now simply titled “Welfare of Dogs and Cats”.  In addition, every reference to “Dogs and cats have the right” has been changed to “Dogs and cats deserve”.

These changes are in addition to the amendments added last week that remove the words “companion animal” and “guardian” and state that the purpose of the bill is “solely to inform potential owners of the standards for basic physical care and emotional well-being of dogs and cats.”

A copy of the guidelines must be posted or distributed by every shelter and rescue in the state.

These amendments are essential in replacing animal rights language with language regarding animal welfare, and in clarifying that there will be no enforcement for failure to live up to the recommendations in the bill.  It further ensures that the clear purpose of the bill is guidelines and suggestions regarding the care of animals, rather than a radical shift in policy.

AKC thanks the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Animal Health Institute, animal control officers, AKC clubs, NAIA, and many individuals across California who joined us in expressing strong opposition to the bill as introduced and encouraging this compromise to truly protect animals and responsible owners.

What You Can Do:

Please thank the author – Contact Assemblyman Miguel Santiago and thank him for his willingness to work with the AKC and accept these amendments.  Encourage him to continue to work with AKC and constituent dog clubs in the future when considering animal legislation.  If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting him.

Miguel Santiago (Dist. 53 – Los Angeles)
Sacramento Office: (916) 319-2053
Los Angeles District Office: (213) 620-4646
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Thank the chairman – Assembly Business and Professions Chair Marc Berman and his staff were instrumental in ensuring these amendments were drafted and accepted.  They also published the official committee analysis which fairly and accurately outlined the many concerns with the bill as introduced.  Be sure to mention if you are a constituent.

Marc Berman, Chair (Dist. 24- Palo Alto)
Sacramento Office:(916) 319-2024
Palo Alto Office: (650) 324-0224
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AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates as they are available.  For more information, contact AKC GR at