Los Angeles, CA (10/3/19) – Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) is pleased that California Governor, Gavin Newsom, has signed AB 588 into law. The law effectively mandates the disclosure of a dog’s bite history, prior to their being rehomed. The bill goes into effect January 1, 2020.
AB 588, introduced by Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R-Yorba Linda) requires that an animal shelter — defined to include a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group must disclose a dog’s bite history and the circumstances related to the bite and obtain a signed acknowledgment from the person to whom a dog is sold, given away, or transferred.
“The public looks to the animal welfare community to be forthright regarding an animals’ history. If we obfuscate, we lose the public’s trust,” said Madeline Bernstein, spcaLA President. “This legislation protects the shelters and the public, and writes into law what has been the best practice of credible agencies throughout the State.”
The bite history begins at 4 months of age and is a bite that broke a person’s skin. Violation of this law is punishable by a civil fine not to exceed $500, imposed by the city or county in which the animal shelter or rescue group is located. Rescue groups are defined as a for-profit or not-for-profit entity or a collaboration of individuals that removes dogs from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane shelter, or rehomes a dog that has been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that dog. This law is added to other civil and criminal remedies that may be used in addressing deceptive practices.