Happy New Year! It’s something we’ll be hearing for the next few weeks… at least. Ringing in the new year is synonymous with parties, champagne and Auld Lang Syne. The turn of the year is also the time when new laws begin to take effect. This year, there are two important new laws in the state of California that apply to animal shelters – SB 245 and AB 588. Both of these laws took effect on January 1st and represent great improvements in animal welfare.
Here’s a breakdown of what each bill does:
SB 245 (Pets for Vets)
SB 245 requires public animal shelters to waive adoption fees for military veterans. The bill also authorizes public animal shelters to limit the number of dogs and cats adopted from their shelter by an eligible veteran to one dog and cat each 6-month period. Learn more about SB 245.
AB 588 (Disclosure of Dog Bites)
AB 588 requires an animal shelter, defined to include a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group, that knows, to the best of the knowledge, that a dog, at the age of 4 months or older, bit a person and broke that person’s skin, thus requiring a state-mandated bite quarantine, before selling, giving away, or otherwise releasing the dog, to disclose in writing to the person to whom the dog is released the dog’s bite history and the circumstances related to the bite. The bill would require the animal shelter or rescue group to obtain a signed acknowledgment from the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred that the person has been provided this information about the dog. Learn more about AB 588.