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September 4, 2012

The HSVMA and The Paw Project Applaud California Legislature for Passing Bill to Protect Tenants and Their Pets

The Paw Project

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and The Paw Project applaud the California Legislature for strong bipartisan votes on behalf of legislation to protect tenants and their pets from unreasonable demands by landlords. SB 1229 now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown after a unanimous final Senate vote of 39 to 0. It passed the Assembly earlier last week by a vote of 57-17. Authored by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, SB 1229 would prohibit a landlord from advertising or establishing rental policies requiring that tenants have their animals declawed or devocalized as a condition of occupancy.

“There are a number of steps landlords can take to protect their properties from damage by pets. Pressuring pet owners to subject their pets to the risks of permanently damaging procedures is unnecessary, expensive and just plain wrong,” said Sen. Pavley.

“We’re grateful to Senator Pavley for her leadership on this important animal welfare legislation,” said Dr. Jennifer Conrad, director of The Paw Project. “SB 1229 will protect tenants from being forced to choose between securing housing for their families and subjecting their pets to unnecessary, costly and life-altering surgical procedures.”

“It is gratifying that California legislators recognize the importance of keeping pets with their families,” said Dr. Paula Kislak, HSVMA board president. “We urge Governor Brown to join us in protecting California families and their pets and sign SB 1229 into law.”

Facts:

  • SB 1229 is co-sponsored by HSVMA and The Paw Project. Other supporters include the California Apartment Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association and many animal welfare groups.
  • Declawing is an amputation surgery that is typically performed to prevent cats from scratching household items. Because of concerns about possible long-term physical and behavioral consequences of declawing, HSVMA and The Paw Project advocate humane alternatives, such as scratching posts, nail trims, and nail caps, to address destructive scratching.
  • Devocalization (often called ‘de-barking’), is another invasive surgery in which all or part of an animal’s vocal cords are cut and removed in order to muffle or silence them. Adverse physical consequences can include chronic coughing and gagging, breathing difficulties, and exercise intolerance. HSVMA and The Paw Project support the use of behavior modification and environmental enrichment to address unwanted pet vocalization.

Media Contacts:
HSUS, Niki Ianni, 301-548-7793, 240-753-4874, nianni@humanesociety.org

The Paw Project, 310-795-6215, info@pawproject.org.

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