AKC is monitoring several bills impacting dog owners in California. Below are a few highlights, including three bills with upcoming hearings, and three pending bills that could use comments of support.
To see the complete list visit the AKC legislative action center at www.akcgr.org and/or the AKC legislative tracker. AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to provide updates and alerts on these and other bills that could impact you.
Bills With Upcoming Hearings:
- Senate Bill 89 – Crimes: Stalking.
Status: Passed Senate Public Safety Committee; hearing scheduled for April 24 in Senate Appropriations
Summary: This bill would bring California’s stalking laws in line with federal law in protecting a domestic violence victim’s pets from being targeted by an abuser without consequence. AKC has worked with Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh on this bill and supports its passage.
What You Can Do: The bill is before the Senate Appropriations Committee and set for an April 24 hearing; to register your support, simply send an email to email@example.com stating that you support protecting domestic violence victims and their pets.
- Assembly Bill 1518 – Service dogs.
Status: Set for April 25 hearing in Assembly Business and Professions Committee.
Summary: This bill would require the Department of Consumer Affairs to conduct a statewide education campaign to raise public awareness on both the value of service dogs and to ensure they do not suffer from abuse.
What You Can Do: This bill has been introduced by Assemblymember Laura Friedman. Although it is too late to submit official testimony, you may email the committee consultant, Robby Sumner (firstname.lastname@example.org) to express your support for protecting service dogs.
- Assembly Bill 742 – Law enforcement: police canines.
Status: Passed Assembly Public Safety Committee; referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee for April 26 hearing.
Summary: This bill would prevent the use of police canines for the purpose of arrest, apprehension, or any form of crowd control. AKC recognizes the value of highly trained working K9s for a wide variety of jobs including detection, search and rescue, and other public safety functions. Rather than limiting the safety functions of properly trained working K9s, AKC encourages the bill’s sponsor to focus on ensuring that law enforcement canines and their handlers have the proper and up-to-date training, certifications, and knowledge of best practices to keep all Californians safe.
What You Can Do: Those who wish to comment on the bill before the April 26 hearing can direct their comments to the Assembly Appropriations Committee (email@example.com).
Pending Bills Supported by AKC:
- Assembly Bill 703 – Residential property insurance: dog breeds.
Status: Referred to Assembly Insurance Committee
Summary: This bill would ban breed specific discrimination in residential insurance policies against dog owners. AKC strongly supports this bill.
What You Can Do: This bill has been introduced by Assemblymember Gregg Hart. You are encouraged to express your support for this bill to the Assembly Insurance Committee. Click here to find contact info for members of the committee. Be sure to say that dogs should not be discriminated against simply by breed. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them (Click HERE to find out who your assemblymember is).
- Assembly Bill 1215 – Pets Assistance with Support Grant Program: homeless shelters: domestic violence shelters: pets.
Status: Passed the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee; referred to Assembly Suspense File.
Summary: Currently, many shelters for domestic violence victims and homeless people are not able to accommodate people with pets, causing many to avoid the shelter system. This bill would use state grants to allow for domestic violence and homeless shelters to be able accommodate pets with the goal of removing more people from harmful situations. The AKC supports this proposal.
What You Can Do: This bill has been introduced by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo. Please send your support for this bill and domestic violence victims and their pets to the Assembly Appropriations Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chairman Chris Holden (email@example.com).
- Assembly Bill 781 – Accessibility to emergency information and services: emergency shelters: persons with pets.
Status: Passed Assembly Emergency Management Committee; referred to Assembly Suspense File
Summary: This bill would require a county, on or before July 1, 2024, to update its emergency plan to designate emergency shelters able to accommodate persons with pets. The AKC supports this bill.
What You Can Do: This bill has been introduced by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein. Please send your support for this bill and for emergency shelters to be able to accommodate people AND their pets to the Assembly Appropriations Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chairman Chris Holden (email@example.com).
Additional Bill Monitored by AKC:
- Assembly Bill 554 – Corporations for the prevention of cruelty to animals: enforcement of laws.
Status: Passed Assembly Judiciary Committee; hearing in Assembly Banking and Finance Committee on April 24
Summary: As originally drafted, this bill could have made it make it easier for an owner’s animals to be seized without traditional due process protections. After working with the bill’s author to amend the bill, AKC’s concerns have been adequately addressed. We thank Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel for his willingness to work with us.
What You Can Do: AKC continues to monitor this bill, but no action is necessary at this time
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 firstname.lastname@example.org