AB 1648 (Maienschein) Animal Evacuation Bill Passes Assembly Emergency Management Committee
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Today, AB 1648, a bill that will require an evacuation plan as a condition of all kennel permits, passed the Assembly Emergency Management Committee by a preliminary vote of 5 to 0. Earlier this year, this bill was introduced by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) along with sponsor, Social Compassion in Legislation.
Where a city or county requires a permit to keep an animal within its jurisdiction, AB 1648 will require an animal owner as a condition for obtaining the permit to create and submit an animal wildfire evacuation plan.
“This requirement has served my community in Laguna Beach well for decades. Now that our state has a year around fire season, it is important that all jurisdictions require an evacuation plan as a condition for a kennel permit,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation, sponsor of the bill. “This law helps facilitate smooth evacuations, which will save the lives of families, their animals, and our most important first responders.”
California continues to experience catastrophic wildfires of historic proportion devastating both Northern and Southern California. These disasters, among other things, tragically highlighted the serious need for preparing and executing evacuation plans for animals. In the chaos of wildfire, animals are and will be left to suffer and perish in the absence of pre-planning by their guardians. Furthermore, when animals are not evacuated, first responders and “good Samaritans” are put in danger while trying to save those animals.
“In the course of my career, I cannot count the number of times our Animal Control Officers and kennel staff were loaned to other agencies in order to help mitigate the animals left behind,” said Gina Knepp, National Shelter Engagement Director for Michelson Found Animals. “Including an evacuation plan in an already existing permitting process, may exponentially reduce the burden on animal control agencies and most importantly, reduce the number of animals that suffer and often die as a result.”
Voted YES: Rodriguez (Chair), Seyarto, Aguiar-Curry, Calderon, Waldron
Not Present: Gray, Ward
AB 1648 will now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
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Social Compassion in Legislation