ASPCA Commends California Lawmakers for Passing Bill to Help Protect Kittens and Puppies

Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation preserving health and survival of at-risk kittens and puppies
August 24, 2018

NEW YORK – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commends the California Legislature for passing a bill that allows stray kittens and puppies under eight weeks old to be immediately released from shelters to rescue groups who often have greater capacities to provide them with the specialized care they need. The bill was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown today and will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

“A.B. 2791 is a commonsense and collaborative measure to increase positive outcomes for kittens and puppies and will save thousands of lives every year,” said Susan Riggs, senior director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region. “The ASPCA thanks Governor Brown for signing this lifesaving bill into law, and we are grateful to Assemblymember Muratsuchi for his work to secure better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable animals in shelters.”

Current state law requires kittens and puppies be held in public shelters for three days for owner redemption, but very few, if any, of these animals have owners. During this three-day period, unweaned kittens and puppies can easily be exposed to illness as their immune systems are still developing, which puts them at greater risk for euthanasia. A.B. 2791 will allow for the immediate release of these animals to specified nonprofit organizations, which will help ensure their health and survival.

Since April 2017, the ASPCA Los Angeles Kitten Foster Program, based out of Baldwin Park Animal Care Center in the County of Los Angeles, has cared for more than 2,300 kittens. In this program, kittens are diverted from the typical shelter intake process, medically evaluated, and placed into foster homes the same day. Foster homes give kittens under 8 weeks old necessary time and space to grow healthily and become strong enough to be adopted into loving homes. If you’re interested in fostering kittens in Los Angeles for the ASPCA, sign up at

For more information about the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit