Judie Mancuso’s sponsored bill to protect lost pets clears first committee hurdle

In a recent unanimous vote, bill SB 64, sponsored by Laguna local Judie Mancuso, cleared its first committee hurdle. SB 64 requires all municipal animal shelters to microchip any adopted or recovered cat or dog, helping pets find their way home.

Microchipping of pets is the easiest and most effective way to help pets in the tragic event they become lost or separated during a natural disaster, but many pets in California have never undergone this simple process. That’s closer to changing following the 9 to 0 vote of the California State Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development on SB 64, a bill to mandate microchipping of cats and dogs in all municipal shelters.

“When lost pets are found, microchipping allows them to be returned to their families, instead of left to languish in a shelter. We’re proud to be joining Senator Chang and advocates from across the state to get more pets back into loving homes,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation, a sponsor of SB 64.

Laguna's Judie group

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Judie Mancuso, CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation, gives a speech on animal welfare

“Our pets are part of our family, and we dread the thought of them becoming lost or separated,” said Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), who authored the bill. “I’m proud to work on SB 64, which would help reunite pets with owners, significantly reduce the number of euthanized pets, and save taxpayer dollars.”

When an unchipped pet is brought to a shelter, only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats make it home. Meanwhile, roughly 75 percent of microchipped pets are reunited with their humans. As Senator Chang mentioned in her remarks, the problem of lost pets is worsening as California sees more and more devastating wildfires. In October 2017, one dog, Bill, was accidentally separated from his family, the Robinsons of Santa Rosa, during the Tubbs fire, but, due to a microchip and the work of the Marin Humane Society and local police, the family was reunited. More families and pets deserve this kind of safety.

Since its founding in 2007, one of Social Compassion in Legislation’s primary goals has been to reduce euthanasia in state shelters, seeing this as both morally and fiscally worthwhile. “When dogs or cats come in with no identification, they are more likely to be euthanized. Given that half a million pets are put down in California shelters each year, we must do everything we can to get them into the homes where they will be loved and protected,” Mancuso added. 

The bill now advances to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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