The American Kennel Club joins CVMA and the AHI in a public statement opposing the “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights” due to fears of unseen repercussions and risks to California pets’ healthcare.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has joined the California Veterinary (CVMA) and the Animal Health Institute (AHI) to make a combined public statement opposing the proposed California Assembly Bill 1881 also known as the “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights.” This new bill has raised concerns because, according to the above groups, it may undermine a pet owner's right to make healthcare decisions for their pets.
"The American Kennel Club cares deeply about the wellbeing of all dogs," said Sheila Goffe, Vice President of Government Relations, AKC, in an organizational release. "We are pleased to join with the California Veterinary Medical Association and the Animal Health Institute to share our concerns about this proposal, which could undermine the rights and responsibilities of pet owners to make appropriate care decisions for their animals.1"
Through a letter sent to California State Representative Miguel Santiago, the bill's author, and the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, the 3 groups expressed the concerning elements to the bill if passed. AKC, CVMA, and AHI stated this bill could make it hard for pet owners and veterinarians to get pets appropriate care or make decisions to get their pets the best healthcare possible if it is passed.1
"However, Assembly Bill 1881—named the “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights”—does not further that aim. Instead of simply providing a list of helpful reminders and guidelines for pet owners, the bill signals a radical shift in the legal status of animals and who is responsible for care decisions. Should this bill become law, it could undermine the rights of California pet owners and their veterinarians to make appropriate health care decisions ensuring the best possible care for their beloved pets," stated the letter.2
In addition to this, the groups fear that the shift in a pet’s legal status in California can cause future unintended consequences and litigation.