Governor Newsom Signs the Safe Transportation of Dogs and Cats Act into Law

AB 1781 Rubio
AB 1781 Rubio

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D – Los Angeles), author of AB 558, on a video chat with advocates for plant-based meals in schools.

July 1, 2022 – Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1781, the Safe Transportation of Dogs and Cats Act, into law. The new law, authored by Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) and sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, requires mobile or traveling housing facilities, such as animal control vehicles, to transport dogs and cats in a manner that does not endanger the health or well-being of the animal due to conditions such as extreme heat or cold, or lack of food and water.

“AB 1781 recognizes the importance of setting safe temperature standards in a state where temperatures can vary from below freezing to well over triple digits,” said Assemblywoman Rubio. “As a proud pet owner I understand the importance of prioritizing the safety and wellness of our furry family members. Following the signing of AB 1781 into law, I applaud Governor Gavin Newsom for his leadership and commitment to animal safety.”

“Governor Newsom is a national leader in the fight against climate change and is acutely aware of its increasing effects in our day to day lives, including the lives of our dogs and cats,” said Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. “While not surprised that our animal loving Governor signed this important legislation into law, we are thrilled and grateful. With temperatures rising year after year, it is imperative that we ensure animal control, rescue organization, or humane society vehicles are equipped to keep animals alive and comfortable during transport versus dead on arrival. And that’s exactly what this law will do.”

With 2021 being the hottest year on record and temperatures in California ranging from below freezing to well over 100 degrees, animals being transported can be at risk of severe injury or death. Yet, currently, there are no minimum standards in California for climatic conditions while transporting dogs and cats in these vehicles. The new law closes that gap.

“On behalf of Social Compassion in Legislation, our supporters, and animal advocates across the state, we thank Assemblymember Blanca Rubio for her steadfast leadership in advancing this important legislation since we first approached her about this policy issue in 2018,” said Nickolaus Sackett, Director of Legislative Affairs with Social Compassion in Legislation. “We also appreciate the bipartisan support the bill received throughout the legislative process.”

AB 1781, the 20th sponsored bill by Social Compassion in Legislation to be signed into law, was drafted in response to several animal control volunteers and employees, veterinarians, and the animal rights and rescue community that met in Southern California to discuss legislation that could better shape how animal control agencies care for animals.

Social Compassion in Legislation was the catalyst and sponsoring organization behind former State Senator Liz Figueroa’s SB 1806, Animals in Unattended Vehicles, a bill signed into law in 2006 which made it illegal to leave animals in unattended vehicles under conditions such as extreme heat or cold, which could inflict suffering on the animal and gave humane officers the ability to gain entry to the vehicle and rescue them. The new law is a continuation of the organization’s work to protect animals in transport.

We cannot thank you all enough for the action you take for the animals! Together we make big things happen for the voiceless. Thank you so much, and please consider making a donation to help us continue our work.

With gratitude,

Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president
Social Compassion in Legislation

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