California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed several bills impacting dog owners, exhibitors, and sellers in the state:
- Assembly Bill 2257 – This bill addresses concerns raised by a law passed in 2019 that requires certain independent contractors to be treated as employees. The concern was raised that this could require clubs to provide benefits, workers compensation, etc. to judges contracted for local shows at great legal and economic expense. In response to these concerns, the AKC and other groups requested and supported an amendment included in the bill that clearly exempts competition judges from this law. The bill signed by the governor includes this important amendment. Read AKC’s previous alert for more information.
AKC Government Relations continues to review and monitor this law and has been in contact with legislators committed to continuing to work to address concerns expressed by groups hiring independent contractors for a variety of services.
- Assembly Bill 2152 – This bill amends a law passed in 2017 that prohibits pet stores from selling animals unless they are sourced from shelters and rescues. In particular, AB 2152 addresses a concern whereby a small number of pet stores in the state were obtaining dogs from irresponsible breeders falsely identifying as rescues.
As introduced, the bill stated that pet stores could not work with rescues affiliated with breeders in any way. This implied that no breeders should be involved in rescue work – negating the important and essential work done by many responsible breed rescues. AKC worked with the sponsor to amend the bill to instead state that rescues sourcing to pet stores may not breed rescue dogs. In other words, the version of the bill signed into law bans rescue organizations from breeding dogs, but no longer prevents breeders from being affiliated with a rescue.
Read AKC’s blog for more information on this issue and the important amendment.
- Senate Bill 573 – This bill does not allow a shelter or rescue to release a dog unless it has been microchipped. This includes a dog being released back to its owner. The microchip must include current information on the owner (or new owner if the dog is being sold/adopted). The shelter/rescue may require that proof be provided that the dog is microchipped (with updated owner information) prior to releasing the dog.
The microchip is not required if there is signed documentation from a veterinarian stating a health concern, or if the owners sign that it would be an economic hardship. View the bill in its entirety here.
The California Legislature is adjourned until December 2, 2020. Visit the Legislative Tracking Page in the AKC Legislative Action Center for a full list of bills being monitored by AKC Government Relations. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.