Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) introduced AB 1781, the Safe Transportation of Dogs and Cats Act. The bill, sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, requires mobile or traveling housing facilities, such as animal control vehicles, to transport dogs and cats in such a manner that conditions do not endanger the health or well-being of the animal due to extreme temperatures or lack of food or water.
With 2021 being the hottest year on record and temperatures in California ranging from below freezing to well over 100 degrees, animals being transported inside animal control or other mobile housing facility vehicles can be at risk of severe injury or death. Yet, currently, there are no minimum standards in California for climatic conditions while transporting dogs and cats in these vehicles. This bill closes the gap.
“Studies show that animals can sustain critical brain damage, organ failure or even death from heatstroke in just fifteen minutes,” said Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio. “This bill recognizes the importance of setting safe temperature standards in a state where temperatures can vary from below freezing to well over triple digits.”
“We are so appreciative of Assemblymember Rubio for recognizing the need to protect dogs and cats in transport,” said Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. “With temperatures soaring due to the climate emergency, it is imperative that we ensure animal control vehicles are equipped to keep animals alive and comfortable during transport.”
AB 1781 was drafted in response to several animal control directors, local county veterinarians, animal control associations, as well as the input from a forum of over 45 statewide representatives of shelter directors, managers, volunteers, and the animal rescue community that met in Southern California to discuss legislation that could better shape how animal control agencies care for animals.
Social Compassion in Legislation was also the catalyst and sponsoring organization behind former State Senator Liz Figueroa’s SB 1806, a bill signed into law in 2006 which made it illegal to leave animals in unattended vehicles under conditions such as extreme heat or cold, which could inflict suffering on the animal. The new bill, AB 1781, takes this sound policy and applies it to private or public shelters or their contracting parties while in transport.
Assemblywoman Rubio represents the 48th Assembly District, which is comprised of the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, City of Industry, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Irwindale, Monrovia, West Covina, and the San Gabriel Valley unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, including Bassett, Charter Oak, Citrus, East Arcadia, Ramona, Valinda and West La Puente.