ASPCA Urges California Gov. Jerry Brown to Sign Bill to Protect Abandoned Animals

California lawmakers vote to pursue more positive fates for abandoned animals
June 19, 2014

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) today urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign AB 1810, which removes a state mandate to euthanize any animal abandoned at an animal care facility, including veterinary offices, spay/neuter clinics, animal hospitals, and grooming facilities, if a new home is not found within 24 days. Additionally, AB 1810 provides more flexibility to achieve positive outcomes for these animals by permitting animal care facilities to turn the animals over to a local shelter – an option that is strictly prohibited under current law. Sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego), AB 1810 was passed unanimously by both houses of the California Legislature and now heads to Gov. Brown for his signature.

“Abandonment should not be a death sentence for animals. Dogs and cats at spay/neuter clinics, veterinary offices, or any of California’s many other care facilities should not face certain death simply because their owner fails to pick them up,” said Kevin O’Neill, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region. “It is imperative that we do all we can to ensure positive outcomes for these animals, and AB 1810 will do just that. We thank Assemblyman Maienschein for his work on this critical issue and we strongly urge Governor Brown to take quick action on this bill to protect California’s animals.”

In May, the ASPCA announced a $25 million, multi-year commitment to save the lives of animals in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. Building on the strong foundation created by Los Angeles’ existing local animal welfare community, the ASPCA is working closely with the leading local animal welfare groups to provide residents and rescue groups a variety of critical services that will save lives and help keep families and their pets together. A new spay/neuter facility is part of this commitment. 

“We must exhaust every opportunity to save the lives of these animals, and this legislation helps by removing barriers to potentially life-saving transfers,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “The mandate to euthanize abandoned animals was never acceptable, and we thank California lawmakers for creating and supporting humane solutions to the issue of homeless pets.”

At the ASPCA’s first-ever California ‘Legal Voices for Animals Day’ in March, California law students met with state leaders to advocate on behalf of animal welfare legislation, including AB 1810. In addition to lobbying for stronger protections for abandoned animals, students engaged lawmakers on issues impacting the welfare of California’s animals such as regulations on dogs imported into the state and tax deductions on adoption fees.

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