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Yesterday, the California State Legislature adjourned, signifying several important victories including the defeat of the bill formerly known as the “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights” and the passage of a bill requiring disclosures for dog trainers that included AKC’s amendments.

AKC thanks the California federations, dog clubs, fanciers, owners, trainers, and sportsmen who took the time this year to contact their lawmakers – your voice made a tremendous difference for dogs in California!

Here is the latest on bills in California impacting dog owners:

AB 1881 – Dog and Cat Welfare (Formerly “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights”)
Status: Defeated in the Senate

Summary: As previously reported, this bill was significantly amended in the Assembly to address AKC’s primary concerns.  While it was still being referenced as the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights, the actual section of law that would have been created by the bill would be simply called “Dog and Cat Welfare” and required shelters and rescues to post a list of guidelines of what dogs and cats “deserve” (including proper shelter, protection from cruelty, etc.).  AKC is grateful to the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Animal Health Institute, and the California Animal Welfare Association for joining us in opposing the original bill and supporting AKC’s amendments.

While AKC was officially neutral on the bill as amended, numerous animal shelters and rescues throughout the state remained opposed, as they were concerns about enforcement for failure to post/provide this list of recommendations, and the presumption/implication that all dogs in shelters are from bad owners who failed to provide basic care.  Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial citing this bill as an example of legislation that does not solve a real issue or concern in the state.

The editorial and the concerns of shelters were raised by Senators during the vote.  However, because of the opposition of local shelters, some radical supporters of the bill are publicly attacking them for failing to care about animals.

AKC strongly supports the efforts of local shelters who are working hard to provide appropriate care and homes for animals in their facilities.  We encourage local clubs to consider how you can provide tangible support and help to your local shelter in your community.  

AB 1901 – Disclosure Requirements for Dog Trainers
Status: Passed with AKC amendments, will soon be transmitted to the governor

Summary: This bill originally sought to regulate all trainers as boarding facilities and included 13 pages of new requirements.  It was significantly amended to now simply require disclosure of a trainer’s name and address, as well as any civil judgements or animal cruelty convictions (read AKC’s previous alert for more information).  AKC thanks the author, Assemblyman Nazarian, for his willingness to amend this bill to address our concerns.  AKC will provide information on contacting the governor when the bill is transmitted.

The following bills of interest are also pending action by the governor:

AB 1648 – Disaster Plans for Kennels
Status: Submitted to the Governor on August 31

Summary: Current California code allows for cities or counties in the state to require a kennel license.  Under AB 1648, having an animal disaster preparedness plan would be mandatory as a condition of obtaining and keeping a license.  This plan should be filed with the city or county where the license is obtained.  There are no specific requirements as to what should be included in the plan.

Those who wish to contact the governor regarding this bill may do so using the information provided at this link.

AB 2723 – Microchipping Regulations for Dogs Claimed from Shelters and Rescues
Status: Submitted to the Governor on August 29

Summary: AB 2723 requires a shelter or rescue transferring ownership of a dog to provide certain information to the new owner, including microchip company information, if the dog has a current microchip number, and any other information needed so the new owner can register themselves as the primary contact on the microchip.  In addition, if a shelter or rescue is transferring a dog that was already microchipped, they must document and keep records of all efforts made to contact the microchip’s primary contact.

AB 2723 was amended on the Senate floor to clarify these requirements do not apply to animals temporarily housed as a result of an emergency evacuation order.

Those who wish to contact the governor regarding this bill may do so using the information provided at this link.

AKC continues to monitor legislation in California on the state and local levels with the potential to impact dog owners.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at