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California lawmaker introduces “Bill of Rights” for dogs and cats

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KEYT) -- Assembly member Miguel Santiago, from the 53rd district in Los Angeles, has introduced the Assembly Bill 1881, named the "Dog and Cat Bill of Rights," which aims to enumerate seven protections for pets in the state and have those rights listed in a prominent place in animals shelters.

“Our dogs and cats deserve to be loved, and cared for, and the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights will help inform potential adopters of the care needed to create a healthy environment for the adopted pets,” said Santiago in a statement.

The bill would provide the following rights to dogs and cats in California:

  • The right to freedom from exploitation, cruelty, neglect and abuse
  • The right to a life of comfort, free of fear and anxiety
  • The right to daily mental stimulation and appropriate exercise
  • The right to nutritious food, sanitary water and shelter in an appropriate and safe environment 
  • The right to preventive and therapeutic health care
  • The right to proper identification through tags, microchips or other humane means
  • The right to spaying and neutering to prevent unwanted litters

"These are big things we need to keep in mind when we either purchase a dog, adopt a dog or rescue a dog," added the Assembly member.

Should the bill pass, animal control agencies, animal shelters and humane societies in the state would be required to post a copy of the "Dog and Cat Bill of Rights" in a prominent place on their property.

Those agencies that fail to do so would face a $250 fine. The money from the fines would go into helping fund the program.

Santiago was also the co-author behind the state law that allows a person to break a car window to save a dog in hot weather.

The next step for the bill is to move to a committee for review.

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Janete Weinstein

Janete Weinstein is a multimedia journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Janete, click here.

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