SACRAMENTO, CA. February 12, 2020 – California State Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) introduced SB 573 today, a bill to require local animal control agencies and public and private shelters to microchip all reclaimed or adopted cats and dogs. The bill, sponsored by animal advocacy group, Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), is a revised version of a bill that reached Governor Newsom’s desk last year.
“Our pets are part of our family and it’s heartbreaking to see how many photos of lost pets are posted on social media every week,” said Senator Chang. “By microchipping our dogs and cats with their owner’s information, we can help reunite pets with owners, significantly reduce the number of euthanized pets, and save taxpayer dollars. I hope the Governor will support our revised bill – which now includes financial hardship exemptions.”
More than 500,000 dogs and cats are brought into California shelters each year and more than half are euthanized. Only 15 percent of dogs and two percent of the cats in shelters without identification are ever reunited with their families.
“We have to do all we can to stop euthanizing dogs and cats in our shelters. It is morally abhorrent to kill these animals and a taxpayer burden as well,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation. “For a miniscule cost of $5 for a microchip, we cannot afford to overlook this commonsense measure.”
Recently, Governor Newsom said, “We want to be a no-kill state,” and added a $50 million one-time general fund allocation to the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to develop a grant program for animal shelters. According to the budget summary, the funds will help local communities achieve the state’s policy goal of not euthanizing any adoptable or treatable dog or cat.
“This goal cannot be accomplished without a microchipping mandate for dogs and cats that have already found their way into California’s shelters,” said Mancuso.
Senator Chang has advocated on behalf of shelter animals during her tenure. Last year, she authored SB 245, which waived pet adoption fees for California veterans. The new law brought together veterans seeking companion animals and pets in need of a home. SB 245 went into effect January 1, 2020.