The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) invited California law students to advocate in support of animal welfare legislation at the first-ever ‘California Legal Voices for Animals Day.’ At the Sacramento event, students engaged state lawmakers on issues impacting the welfare of California’s animals, including legislation to address the regulation on dogs imported into the state, abandoned animals, and tax deductions on adoption fees.
“Animal welfare is an ever-growing issue of concern in legal and political circles,” said Kevin O’Neill, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region. “This ASPCA event capitalizes on that interest, providing students and professionals with a structured, comfortable forum to meet their elected officials and push for legislation to protect the animals of California.”
Law students in attendance lobbied in support of the following legislation:
- A.B. 1809, sponsored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego), would require entities that import dogs into the state to file a health certificate. California is one of only two states that do not require dogs who are imported into the state to be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection, so this bill will bring state law into accordance with the 48 other states that already require this.
- A.B. 1810, sponsored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego), would revise outdated provisions in existing laws to help California achieve more positive outcomes for abandoned animals. Current law requires that animals abandoned at a veterinary office, grooming facility, spay/neuter clinic or other similar facility be euthanized if a new owner cannot be found within a short time frame and prohibits abandoned animals from being turned over to a local shelter. This legislation would remove both mandates.
- A.B. 2326, sponsored by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento), would provide a modest tax deduction for adoption fees, with the goal of encouraging more adoptions and reducing the amount of homeless animals in state shelters.
“There’s an estimated 800,000 animals abandoned in California each year, and it costs local governments and nonprofit shelters about a quarter of a billion dollars annually to care for these animals,” said O’Neill. “With the assistance of students today – and animal advocates across the state every day – the ASPCA looks forward to expanding protections and finding permanent homes for animals throughout California.”
In June, the ASPCA will host a second advocacy event, California Voices for Animals Day, which is open to all California residents. REIGNING CATS AND DOGS readers who would like information about the ASPCA, or hnow to join their Advocacy Brigade, can visit www.aspca.org.