AB 1881, the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights, Passes the Senate Judiciary Committee!
Nickolaus Sackett (far left) and Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (far right) present AB 1881.
AB 1648, the Animal Evacuation Act, Passes the Senate Governmental Organization Committee!
We are thrilled to announce that today AB 1881, the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights, passed the the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 8-1, with Chair Umberg and Senators Caballero, Durazo, Cortese, Hertzberg, McGuire, Stern, and Weiner voting yes, Senator Wieckowski abstaining, Senator Jones voting no, and Senator Borgeas not present.
The bill, authored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, specifies that public or humane society shelters and rescue organizations must make a notice accessible to the public which reads the following:
- Dogs and cats deserve to be free from exploitation, cruelty, neglect, and abuse.
- Dogs and cats deserve a life of comfort, free of fear and anxiety.
- Dogs and cats deserve daily mental stimulation and appropriate exercise considering the age and energy level of the dog or cat.
- Dogs and cats deserve nutritious food, sanitary water, and shelter in an appropriate and safe environment.
- Dogs and cats deserve regular and appropriate veterinary care.
- Dogs and cats deserve to be properly identified through tags, microchips, or other humane means.
- Dogs and cats deserve to be spayed and neutered to prevent unwanted litters.
“AB 1881 will help prevent the mistreatment of dogs and cats by promoting the importance of their mental, physical and emotional well-being,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago, author of the bill. “This bill will ensure that dogs and cats are treated appropriately by informing potential owners the certain standards of treatment these animals deserve.”
SCIL board member and founder of Take Me Home Rescue, Haze Lynn, testified in support of the bill. Her testimony read as follows:
“My name is Haze Lynn and I am the founder of Take Me Home Animal rescue, and a founding Board Member of Social Compassion in Legislation. I founded the rescue in 2001. Over the years we rescued so many animals suffering from severe neglect and depression. It is hard to understand how people can inadvertently or purposely cause pain and suffering to their dog or cat. I believe this is due to a lack of knowledge around the basic needs an animal must have to thrive in a home environment.
When these needs are not met, the animals act out and they end up in our shelter system. Day after day, shelters around the state send out a list of animals with medical or behavioral issues that will be euthanized. Most of these animals were not given basic health or behavioral training which spiraled out of control, landing them into a shelter.
Because of this ongoing situation, Take Me Home and Social Compassion started humane education programs with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, LAPD Pals Youth Program and The City of Colton. Spending time with our programs’ families made us realize that many families do not know what the basic needs are for their animals.
It became evident that most people love their animals but did not know what proper daily care of their animal involves. Most kids we worked with are very forthright in telling us they did not think their animals have feelings of happiness or fear. They didn’t make the connection that their pet living a life alone on a chain could feel loneliness. They would explain if their dog misbehaved, they would just kick it away.
Our education program is rewarding to us and the families by helping build a better bond between them and their pet. Our program gives kids challenges to spend time with their animals. We have them do an activity with their dog or cat for a week and make a journal of how it made them feel. Examples of this would be washing out the water bowls each day to prevent bacteria and parasites, putting a bed outdoors so the animal could have something soft to sleep on, or tossing a ball or toy.
After spending more time with their pet, we saw these families change. We see that this new knowledge empowered the families to connect with their pet.
Having the verbiage in AB 1881 on a website or printed is not an overreach or a burden. We must strive to reach everyone and this bill can help get the conversation started. We can’t take it for granted that people understand that animals are deserving of an enriched life. Let’s help families build a precious bond with their companion animals.”
“We thank the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for supporting the bill and their voiceless constituents. AB 1881 elevates the expectation around the complex needs of dogs and cats when families are considering adopting a new pet,” said Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. “The law recognizes that dogs and cats must be fed, given water, and of course cannot be abused, but this bill gives recognition that these animals have other needs as well, such as mental stimulation, appropriate exercise, and vet care that must be considered.”
The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
We cannot thank you all enough for the action you take for the animals! Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work.
Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president
Social Compassion in Legislation