California is on track to reduce the number of animals prematurely dying in the state’s shelters from around 110,000 annually to zero by 2025 thanks to lifesaving legislation like the four measures Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed into law, according to Kaylee Hawkins, senior manager, Pacific Region, Best Friends Animal Society.
The four pieces of new legislation will help people and pets experiencing homelessness, increase kitten adoptions, assist survivors of violence, and improve transparency in pet insurance, according to Ledy VanKavage, Esq., Sr. Legislative Attorney, Best Friends Animal Society.
Helping the homeless: Senate Bill 109 includes a $5 million grant program to award funding to local homeless shelters to support the provision of shelter, food, and basic veterinary services for pets owned by people experiencing homelessness.
- Increasing kitten adoptions: Assembly Bill 1565 allows any kitten under 8 weeks of age to be immediately available for adoption by a shelter or rescue group, waiving the 72-hour hold period.
- Assisting survivors of violence: Assembly Bill 415 authorizes the California Victim Compensation Board to compensate a crime victim for the costs of temporary housing for a pet. This will enhance support for domestic violence survivors seeking safe, alternative housing for both themselves and their pets.
- Making pet insurance more transparent: Assembly Bill 1535 will improve disclosures to pet insurance policyholders to protect consumers.
“The newly-signed legislation in the State of California is providing lifesaving opportunities for animals in need,” Hawkins told Uken Report. “By reducing barriers to access for support and restrictions for lifesaving to happen, Governor Newsom is creating a safer state for California’s animals.”
Providing new resources for pets and people in moments of crisis or transition is a huge win for the state of California’s animals, Hawkins added. By signing SB109 and AB415, Governor Newsom has created a new standard for helping people and their pets holistically, and will reduce the number of animals entering our state’s animal shelters for these resources.
“Additionally, one of the most at-risk populations in our state’s shelters are underage kittens.” Hawkins said. “By eliminating hold times for the community to help save their lives, many underage kittens will be able to find lifesaving placement.”
- Kitty: Image by Ilona Ilyés from Pixabay