The California Legislature has introduced several bills with the potential to impact dog owners. AKC Government Relations is in contact with the authors of critical bills and is working to ensure the best interest of responsible dog owners is protected.
While no action is essential at this time, California dog owners are encouraged to make sure their clubs have a Legislative Liaison who will quickly forward alerts to all members. You may also visit the AKC Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org and view our legislative alerts page for the latest information.
AKC is monitoring several bills in California, including the following:
AB 1881 – “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights”
Status: Introduced, not yet assigned to committee
In early 2022, AB 702, which originally sought to regulate all dog breeders in the state, was rewritten into a “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights”. As mentioned in a previous alert, this bill officially died and will not advance.
Recently, the author, Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles, introduced a new version of the “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights”. It is important to note that none of these “rights” listed are new requirements or laws, simply a list of what the author believes should be afforded to every dog and cat kept in the state. However, the AKC has expressed significant concerns with many items in the bill, including the idea of granting animals “rights”. AKC strongly believes that all dog owners have a responsibility to care for their animals and ensure their health and safety. Granting “rights” will do nothing to promote responsible dog ownership or the health or wellness of dogs. It could, however, undermine the current legal status of animals which provides for both rights and responsibilities of dog owners in providing proper care for their animals.
In addition, the bill contains many inaccurate and vague legislative findings and uses the word “guardian” – which further implies an intent to alter the legal status of animals by using terms usually reserved for people. For more information on the legal status of animals, we encourage you to visit www.akcgr.org/guardian.
In initial conversations, the author has expressed a willingness to talk further with the AKC and discuss our many concerns. AKC appreciates this and will be working hard to not allow this bill as written to advance.
Action Needed: At this time, no action is needed. AKC Government Relations agrees with many who have reached out to our office to express concerns with AB 1881. We are working hard to communicate these shared concerns to the bill author.
For those who are reaching out to the author’s office, we urge you to keep your comments polite and respectful. It is essential that the author understands concerns, but also knows that the AKC and local clubs are responsible dog owners who love dogs and want to ensure the best interest of dogs and dog owners in the state. If you do contact his office, please respectfully explain your concerns and ask him to please work with the AKC to address concerns. More information on the bill and how to contact the author may be found here.
AB 1781 – Regulating Shelter Transport of Animals
Status: Referred to the Assembly Business and Professions Committee
This bill seeks to protect the health and safety of animals being transported by shelters around the state. It begins with legislative findings stating that California has rising temperatures due to climate change and expresses concerns of the impact this has on the transport of animals. It goes on to state “Animal control agencies around the state pick up thousands of animals every year and transport them to shelters and other facilities for care regardless of weather or temperature conditions…” and that, “Ensuring animal control vehicles have climate control capabilities will prevent unnecessary suffering or even death of animals during transportation from the field to care facilities.”
AB 1781 only applies to public animal control agencies or shelters, SPCA shelters, humane society shelters, or rescue groups in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter. These groups would be required to ensure that conditions in any mobile traveling facility do not endanger the health and safety of animals due to temperature, lack of ventilation, or other circumstances that could cause injury or death.
AKC agrees that animals being transported by shelters must be protected and their basic needs should be met during transport.
Action Needed: The bill is not scheduled for a hearing at this time. Those who wish to comment on this bill may do so by clicking on the “Comments to Author” link at this link and following the instructions to create an online account.
AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor all bills in California with the potential to impact dog owners and will provide updates as they are available. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.