Victory! AB 1648 “Animal Evacuation Act” Signed by Governor Newsom!


AB 1648, the Animal Evacuation Act, Signed into Law by Governor Newsom!

The bill becomes Social Compassion in Legislation’s 22nd sponsored bill signed into law

Today, AB 1648, a bill that will require an evacuation plan as a condition of all kennel permits, was signed into law by Governor Newsom. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) and sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, will help prepare kennel permittees for emergency evacuations.


“In the rush to evacuate a natural disaster, a devastating number of animals have been left behind due to not having an evacuation plan prepared ahead of time,” said Assemblymember Maienschein. “This bill will ensure that animal owners prioritize their pet’s safety by creating an animal evacuation plan as a condition to obtaining a kennel permit.”


“This requirement has served my community in Laguna Beach well for decades. Now that our state has a year around fire season and potential for flooding, it is important that all jurisdictions require an evacuation plan when an individual houses a number of animals that require a permit,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation, sponsor of the bill. “We are grateful that Governor Newsom recognizes this is a lifesaving policy that will facilitate orderly evacuations, saving the lives of families, their animals, and our 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.


“Passage of this law was a multiyear effort in which Assemblymember Maienschein and his staff worked tirelessly with us,” said Nickolaus Sackett, Director of Legislative Affairs for Social Compassion in Legislation. “Social Compassion in Legislation and our supporters cannot thank the Maeinschein team enough.”


“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.”


AB 1648 will go into effect January 1, 2023.

This is the last bill that required legislative action for the 2021-2022 session. We will be updating you throughout the fall on our ongoing efforts to help animals and our upcoming events.

Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work.


With gratitude,

Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president

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