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A California Assembly Committee is considering a bill on Tuesday, March 29, that modifies the laws regarding pet theft and recovering a dog that has been impounded.

Those who wish to comment on this bill are encouraged to do so using the links listed below.

Bill Summary:

Assembly Bill 2723 seeks to address the issue of pet theft by clarifying the law, and also expanding the laws regarding how a dog may be reclaimed when impounded at a shelter or rescue.

Current California law states that an animal control agency, shelter or rescue group shall not release a dog to an owner unless the dog is microchipped with current information on either the owner reclaiming the dog, or the new owner receiving the dog.

AB 2723 would expand this to state that the owner or new owner must also be registered with the microchip registry company as the primary owner.  If the dog is microchipped, the shelter or rescue may not release the dog to a person seeking to reclaim it unless they are registered as the primary owner with the microchip registry company, or the person is authorized by the person registered as the primary owner.

In addition, the bill clarifies the Penal Code regarding the crime of stealing a dog.  It defines this crime in part as taking, leading, carrying away, or confining a dog.  It would also include concealing the identity of the dog or its owner by obscuring, altering, or removing any collar, tag, license or other identifying device or mark.

What You Can Do:

Those who wish to comment on this bill are encouraged to do the following prior to the committee meeting on March 29:

Submit comments to the author’s office.  Comments may be submitted online here.  Follow the directions for logging in and posting comments.

Submit comments to the members of the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions.  Click the “Submit Position Letter” link on the committee home page and follow the instructions to log in and submit written comments.

AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor all bills in California with the potential to impact dogs and dog owners.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at