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On Tuesday, March 14, a bill that seeks to clarify existing law concerning nonprofit corporations’ ability to bring legal action against cases of animal cruelty passed unanimously out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

As passed by the committee, the bill includes an amendment addressing the AKC’s concerns that the original text could have allowed for legal action before any animal cruelty has occurred. The AKC thanks the bill’s author, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and the Assembly Judiciary Committee, for their attention to AKC’s concerns.


Assembly Bill 554 – Corporations for the prevention of cruelty to animals: enforcement of laws.

Status: Passed Assembly Judiciary Committee; referred to Assembly Banking and Finance Committee

Currently in California, there is an existing statutory language that allows for nonprofit entities established for the prevention of cruelty to animals to “proffer a complaint against any person, before any court or magistrate having jurisdiction, for the violation of any law relating to or affecting animals.” However, this existing, arcane language is many decades old and has recently caused functional issues in cases brought to court. The stated purpose of Assembly Bill 554 is to clarify existing law to eliminate any ambiguities.

The AKC had concerns about new, proposed language expanding current law that could have allowed for legal action to be taken before animal cruelty had ever taken place. After working with the author’s office and the Assembly Judiciary Committee, the author agreed to remove this language, and the AKC will continue to monitor Assembly Bill 554.

What You Can Do:

This bill’s author is Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (Los Angeles and Ventura Counties). You are encouraged to reach out to Asm. Gabriel’s office at (916) 319-2046 or and thank him for considering AKC’s concerns.

You may also contact members of Assembly Banking and Finance Committee if you have any comments you would like to offer. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them (Click HERE to find out who your assemblymember is).

AKC Government Relations continues to monitor bills in California impacting dog owners and will provide updates.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at