Updates on AB 1781 & AB 1979 and Need Your Emails On Animal Abuse Case

AB 1781 & AB 1979

AB 1781, the Safe Transportation of Dogs & Cats Act Passes the Assembly!

We are thrilled to announce that AB 1781, the Safe Transportation of Dogs and Cats Act, passed the Assembly with a 70-0 vote. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) requires mobile or traveling housing facilities, such as animal control vehicles, to transport dogs and cats in such a manner that conditions do not endanger the health or well-being of the animal due to extreme temperatures or lack of food or water.

With 2021 being the hottest year on record and temperatures in California ranging from below freezing to well over 100 degrees, animals being transported inside animal control or other mobile housing facility vehicles 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. This bill closes the gap.

AB 1781 was drafted in response to several animal control directors, local county veterinarians, animal control associations, as well as the input from a forum of over 45 statewide representatives of shelter directors, managers, volunteers, and the animal rescue community that met in Southern California to discuss legislation that could better shape how animal control agencies care for animals.

The bill now moves to the Senate where it will be heard in the Senate Business and Professions Committee in the coming weeks.

AB 1979 Fails to Pass Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee Due to Lack of Support!

Sadly, AB 1979, the Deforestation-free Procurement Act, a reintroduction of 2021’s AB 416, but with changes which responded to Governor Newsom’s veto message to last year’s bill, did not garner support from any of the Democratic members of the Committee. This despite the Governor having publicly committed to working on this crucial legislation in his veto message.

What happened in the committee hearing was very unusual, but is a blatant example of how many of our elected officials are willing to ignore their responsibilities to legislate in order to play petty political games. We are used to seeing Republicans deny climate change and vote against legislation that protects animals or the environment, but truly shocking to see some Democrats kill climate change policy, which is extremely popular among ALL Californians, for nothing other than their own misguided knowledge or, more often than not, for special interests.

Leading up to the hearing, ASM Kalra’s staff and the cosponsors were engaged with the chief consultant of the committee, who works at the direction of the Chair, ASM Cottie Petrie-Norris. Discussions led to an agreement to amend the bill to include suggested amendments from the Governor’s Administration.

Both ASM Kalra’s staff and SCIL’s lobbyist checked in directly with the Democratic committee members and their staff who said their members would be “good” on the bill, except ASM Adam Gray (who never has voted for it). Considering these assurances, an “aye” recommendation from Chair Petrie-Norris, and the fact that 3 of the 4 members had voted in favor of the bill twice before (ASM Lori Wilson being the other aye vote we were assured we were getting), ASM Kalra brought the bill for a vote.

After ASM Kalra presented the bill, ASM Gray began his effort to “roll the Chair” by asking antagonistic and obtuse questions about the need for the bill. This seemed to set the tone for the shenanigans, as ASM Rodriguez followed that up with his own misleading question and stated he’d layoff, again, even though he had voted for this legislation twice before, was told the bill had been amended with the Administration’s language, and had been told by his staff prior to the hearing that he was supportive. In the end, no member on the committee made a motion to move the bill for a vote. Without this motion no vote even takes place, and thus “killing” the bill.

Again, we are used to Republicans voting against climate change legislation, but we are appalled and dismayed that Democrats on the committee would kill a bill with enormous domestic and international support, which had language from the Governor’s office, has been 3 years in the making, and would make California a leader on sustainable procurement for what appears to be for gamesmanship.

All of this, despite Californians of all parties supporting action. A 2021 poll conducted by top pollster, Data Orbital, showed that 84% of registered voters in the state are concerned about our state procurement policies contributing to deforestation. This concern translated to 81% supporting the policy of this bill.

Despite the setback, SCIL will continue to work on this incredibly important legislation. We refuse to sit idle as the planet continues to lose species to extinction as tropical forests are decimated around the globe. The urgent need for California to implement sustainable procurement policies was highlighted by a recent Washington Post article showing how beef imported from Brazil is the main driver of tropical deforestation in the Amazon.

For your reference, below is a list of the Committee members who all declined to make a motion despite an ‘aye’ recommendation from Chair Petrie-Norris.

votes

Need your voice for a horrific case of animal abuse in Laguna Beach!

Today we learned of an incident in Laguna Beach where a man, 47 year old, Jason Douglas Creager, purposely drowned his family dog. Read the brief article HERE. He has been arrested and charged with a felony, but please email the Orange County DA’s Office and let them know you want animal abuse cases prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

You can email the DA at: Media@da.ocgov.com

Example text for your email:

Dear Orange County District Attorney:

I urge you to prosecute Jason Creager to the fullest extent of the law for drowning his dog.

We must protect the voiceless by enforcing the laws on the books. And, as we know, animal abuse is connected to other crimes. The link between animal abuse and violence towards people is supported by voluminous studies, which have shown that:

100% of sexual homicide offenders examined had a history of cruelty towards animals.
70% of all animal abusers have committed at least one other criminal offense and almost 40% have committed violent crimes against people.
63.3% of men who had committed crimes of aggression admitted to cruelty to animals.
48% of rapists and 30% of child molesters reported committing animal abuse during childhood or adolescence.
36% of assaultive women reported cruelty to animals while 0% of non-assaultive women did.
25% of violent, incarcerated men reported higher rates of “substantial cruelty to animals” in childhood than a comparison group of non-incarcerated men (0%).
Men who abused animals were five times more likely to have been arrested for violence towards humans, four times more likely to have committed property crimes, and three times more likely to have records for drug and disorderly conduct offenses.

You can find sources for the above studies HERE.

No matter the outcome of each bill, 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.

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

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