California state legislators ranked on animal protection

California state legislators ranked on animal protection

Rankings come as the Humane Society Legislative Fund releases its annual California scorecard

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Dec. 13, 2023)—Today, the Humane Society Legislative Fund released its 2023 California Humane Scorecard, which grades state legislators’ actions on animal-protection legislation introduced during the 2023 session. The scorecard also highlights HSLF-priority legislation that became law, including measures that will expand access to veterinary care, keep families and pets together during extreme weather events, and bolster the use of alternatives methods to animal testing.

HSLF is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion, where they stand on animal protection. HSLF does not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue.

“The California State Legislature continues to demonstrate a deep commitment to protecting animals,” said Jenny Berg, California State Director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “I am proud of our ongoing work to ensure families don’t have to relinquish their beloved pets while facing challenging and unplanned life circumstances. Not only do most Californians value their pets, but they support the need to remove animals from laboratories and ensure they are treated humanely. The Humane Society Legislative fund is grateful to California senators and assemblymember who backed legislation to further strengthen the state’s reputation as a leader in animal welfare.”

The following bills supported by HSLF and scored on the 2023 California Humane Scorecard have been signed into law:

  • Alternative Animal Test Methods (AB 357): a bill related to alternative animal test methods. AB 357 updates California law regarding the use of non-animal testing methods for the development of certain products. Specifically, the legislation continues to prohibit certain manufacturers and contract testing facilities from using traditional animal test methods when an alternative method exists; updates the definition of alternative test method to include alternatives accepted for use by federal agencies; and requires reporting of alternative test and animal test usage to the Department of Public Health and the Department to make available to the public the reported information. AB 357 was sponsored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D).
  • Telemedicine (AB 1399): This bill increases access to veterinary care for California pet owners by allowing California-licensed veterinarians to establish new relationships, known as veterinarian-client-patient-relationships (VCPRs), with clients and their pets under certain conditions using electronic means. Assemblymembers Laura Friedman (D) and Josh Lowenthal (D) served as the sponsors of this legislation.
  • Registered Veterinary Technicians (SB 669): SB 669 codifies California Veterinary Medical Board regulations and makes several necessary changes that will empower veterinarians to delegate a limited number of their duties that specifically relate to controlling disease and parasites in pets and reducing public health risks to registered veterinarian technicians (RVTs). Senator Dave Cortese (D) introduced this bill.
  • Emergency Shelters (AB 781): This bill will help families with pets stay safe during natural disasters and extreme weather events. The legislation requires local governments to designate pet-friendly sheltering sites so families have a safe and comfortable place to go during extreme weather events. Assemblymember Maienschein also introduced this measure.

One bill included on the scorecard, AB 1215, did not become law. AB 1215 would have officially established the Pet Assistance with Support (PAWS) Program to award grants to homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters for food and basic veterinary services for pets owned by individuals experiencing homelessness or escaping domestic violence. This legislation, which was sponsored by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo and passed both chambers, was vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom. HSLF plans on continuing support for this crucial program that helps vulnerable communities.

As the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal protection, HSLF has published a Congressional Humane Scorecard since 2006 to track the relevant votes, co-sponsorships, and other actions of federal lawmakers. This resource effectively records which members of Congress are animal champions and which need more political pressure to denounce cruelty. Now, the organization is increasing its release of state-level scorecards, to build on the progress made in animal protection at the state level and hold members of the state legislature accountable to pro-animal interests.

California voters are encouraged to use this scorecard to make humane choices in future elections.

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Media contact:   
Kate Sarna: 202-836-1265; 


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on X, formerly known as Twitter at @HSLegFund.