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SB 702 Passes in California State Senate Requiring Microchipping for Animals Released From Municipal Shelters

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 General News J E 4
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With approximately 1 million dogs and cats entering California shelters every year, microchipping will help address a major source of the problem - lack of identification

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Social Compassion in Legislation, in conjunction with Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance, today announced that Senate Bill 702 passed the California State Senate.  SB 702, carried by Senator Lieu, would require microchipping for all animals released from municipal shelters.

The bill addresses a critical issue facing the State of California with pet overpopulation.  A significant source of the problem includes the lack of identification and ability to reunite lost animals with their owners without delay – only 13 percent of shelter pets are reunited with their owners.

"Every year, shelters in California impound nearly 1 million dogs and cats, and more than half of these animals are euthanized because they could not be reunited with their owners," Sen. Ted Lieu, author of SB 702, said after the Senate approved it on a 31 to 10 vote. "According to the State Controller's office, this process costs local governments about $300 million annually. My bill will slash these costs while providing a painless, cost-effective way to make it easier for pet owners to be reunited with their lost pets."

SB 702 requires that owners of all animals adopted or impounded and claimed by the owner from a local animal shelter implant an identifying microchip in the animal upon release, if available, or within 30 days of release from the shelter.  This bill authorizes the local jurisdiction to waive the fines or fees associated with SB 702, if the owner qualifies for free or affordable microchipping services.  

"SB 702 is a win-win for everyone," said Judie Mancuso, founder of Social Compassion in Legislation.  "If a lost pet is microchipped, animal control or a veterinarian can scan the pet and get them home before they enter a shelter.  This process helps reduce pet intakes at shelters and according to current statistics, a microchipped pet has a 74 percent chance of finding their way back home."

SB 702 now heads to the State Assembly for a vote and if passed, will go to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

Social Compassion in Legislation is a California 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization focused on reducing pet overpopulation through legislation.  www.scil2011.org

SOURCE Social Compassion in Legislation

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