Please join us in supporting the passage of SB-1347.

SB 1347 Veterinary Medicine: Authorized Care in Shelters


SB 1347 supports the health and safety of sheltered pets by ensuring that shelters are allowed to provide vaccinations and parasite control, administer first aid, and carry out veterinary instructions without the presence of a veterinarian or the requirement to obtain a veterinary premise permit for their facility; something that many shelters are unable to obtain. Existing law allows shelters to euthanize pets without veterinary oversight but does not allow shelters to provide vaccinations or even over-the-counter flea treatments to protect the health of animals.


As animal shelters are not only entrusted, but mandated to provide care for pets, it is unconscionable that they would be prohibited from administering vaccinations and other basic care to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Without the ability to vaccinate animals, illnesses can spread rapidly resulting in suffering and higher euthanasia.


CalAnimals values the important role of veterinarians in supporting the overall health and safety of sheltered pets and is working diligently to help shelters attract and retain veterinary staffing. However, many shelters are simply unable to hire a veterinarian or have been unable to find one that is willing to accept the professional liability of maintaining a veterinary premise permit for their facility. Additionally, some facilities throughout the state of California are so outdated that millions of dollars of upgrades would be needed to meet the Veterinary Medical Board’s standards to qualify for a veterinary premise permit.


Recognizing the significant disparity of resources around our state, it is not surprising that there are a number of obstacles shelters may face as they work to obtain veterinary staffing. Many members of CalAnimals are part of city or county governments.  Rural cities and counties often do not have full-time veterinarians working in their shelters, and some are also located many miles away from a veterinary facility. Further, the corporate chain veterinarian office model continues to grow in California, and those corporate models are far less likely to assume oversight and responsibility for veterinary care offered in local shelters. Shelters without on-site veterinarians must be able to offer basic care and then continue to utilize third party veterinary practices for the treatment of sick and injured pets. This proposed legislation ensures that such care is provided.


Regardless of market risks, geographical factors of public service operations and business locations, shelters must maintain the ability to provide humane care for animals. To protect their health, dogs and cats need vaccinations, prophylactic control of parasites, basic first aid, and necessary follow-up care prescribed by a veterinarian. It is paramount these needs are met regardless of the shelter’s ability to obtain veterinary staffing for their facility.


Please join us in supporting the passage of SB-1347.


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California's animal care and control agencies, SPCAs, and humane societies are not directly affiliated with any of the national animal welfare organizations, such as Humane Society of the United States and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Read more here.