The California State Legislature is considering two pieces of legislation that significantly improve access to veterinary care for local shelters, and for individuals across the state.
AB 1237, also known as the “California Public Interest Veterinary Debt Relief Program,” aims to attract existing veterinarians to practice where demand is greatest in California, by providing funding to apply toward their veterinary school loans.
Introduced by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, the new state program would offer payments totaling up to $150,000 in educational debt relief to licensed California veterinarians who agree to work for a California animal shelter or in underserved communities for at least five years. The SF SPCA is proud to co-sponsor this legislation alongside the San Diego Humane Society.
A separate bill recently introduced, AB 1399, authorizes telemedicine practice for California-licensed veterinarians. Veterinary telemedicine will significantly reduce animal suffering, alleviate financial and logistical barriers to veterinary care, improve pet retention, and extend the capacity of animal shelters to serve animals and their communities. This bill is authored by five state lawmakers and is strongly supported by the SF SPCA.
California’s animal shelters are experiencing significant stress, due in large part to inadequate access to spay/neuter programs and a crisis-level lack of access to veterinary care that actually is worsening. A recent survey conducted by the SF SPCA found that more than 344,000 California shelter animals do not have adequate access to veterinary care.
Your Help is needed – Two Quick Calls or Emails from You Can Help to Improve Care for California Animals!
On April 18th, AB 1399 and AB 1237 passed their Assembly policy committees in the California capital and are moving forward in the legislative process. These bills can provide a significant step forward to reduce animal suffering and help provide access to care in California. And your support is still needed to get these important bills passed in our state. Assembly members will vote on these bills again soon!
Please show your support by emailing or calling your state Assembly member to express your support. Visit: https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov to find out who represents your Assembly district.
Hello, my name is _______________________, and I live at (street address, city): _____________. I’m calling because I’m very concerned about improving the care for animals in California. I live in the Assembly member’s district and I want to know that I can count on the Assembly member to support two important pieces of legislation, AB 1399 and AB 1237, because (give brief explanation of why you support the bills). Thank you for your time!
Animal Advocacy Day
Join animal advocates from across the state for a day of action at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. We warmly invite you to join us on Tuesday, May 23 to advocate for animals and their people and meet with legislators. This will be an energizing and impactful experience for everyone. If you are interested in joining us, please RSVP BY Tuesday, May 2.
Co–sponsored by San Francisco SPCA, ASPCA, California Animal Welfare Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and Marin Humane.