New legislation would protect pets during emergency evacuations

If passed, bill 2568 will require California pet parents to have an evacuation plan in place for their animal companions in the case of disasters.

In February, 2020, Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (San Diego) introduced Bill 2568 to establish protections for animals during emergency evacuations in California. In this state, pet parents are permitted to obtain a permit to own more than a certain number of cats and dogs. The new bill would require an evacuation plan to accompany that permit.

“With wildfires being a serious threat in our district, it’s crucial for all pet owners to have set evacuation plans for the animals in their households. Having these in place can make all the difference when it comes to saving animals, and saving ourselves, too,” says Maienschein. “The security and welfare of animals has always been a top priority of mine, and I am proud to introduce this bill as another way to ensure their protection.”

“In my community, Laguna Beach, we require evacuation plans for animal permit holders, and this kind of pre-planning saves lives,” says Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation, the sponsor of the bill. “An unknown number of animals die during disasters, and many more are rescued but never reunited with their family. The legislature should take a lesson from Laguna Beach, the City of Los Angeles, and others that already require this kind of proactive and lifesaving planning.”

If passed, this bill could save lives and tax dollars by minimizing the need to send emergency personnel into dangerous situations that could have been avoided.

Get the latest updates on Bill 2568 here.