Dogs & the Law: Year in Review


Each year, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) uses adherence to more than 90 policy ideas to rank states for the humane treatment of animals. The organization regards successfully enacted laws as a metric. Overall, the trend is positive, but there are still significant legal loopholes. Below are some of the loopholes that were closed in 2018.


The Golden State leads the nation in animal welfare concerns. In September of that year, Governor Jerry Brown signed three landmark laws. In the medical field, the state’s veterinarians can now discuss the use of medical cannabis for their animal patients without fear of losing their license. However, you are not allowed to prescribe it or provide it. (We find that, according to a listing on a CBD product website, veterinarians in approximately 10 states sell hemp-based CBD products; California is not one of them.) The bill also requires the California Veterinary Medical Board to develop guidelines for these discussions.

With regards to CBD, big news at the federal level was the DEA’s classification of Epidiolex – a drug containing herbal cannabidiol (CBD) designed to treat two types of epileptic seizures – as a List V drug, which paves the way for human use and possibly off-label veterinary use.

In the first law of its kind in North America, the state banned the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. it will come into force in January 2020 (rabbits, guinea pigs and mice lift their paws in thanks!). While pets are still considered community property, judges can now legally weigh factors such as: B. who feeds, walks, provides veterinary care and otherwise protects them when they transfer custody.


That year, Governor Larry Hogan signed three notable animal welfare laws: A ban on retail sales of commercially bred puppies – also known as puppy mill pups – and kittens. The “Beagle Bill”, which requires research institutions to find a home for healthy dogs and cats after their laboratory days. And House Bill 212, which allows judges to exclude those convicted of cruelty from owning or living with animals for a period of time, must be established by the judge.


On November 6, Florida residents voted overwhelmingly to end the greyhound racing industry in their state. After Florida lawmakers again failed to pass laws aimed at ending live greyhound racing, Constitutional Revision Commissioner Tom Lee tabled a constitutional amendment for the November 2018 vote. About 5.4 million voters supported Amendment 13, which will end commercial greyhound racing in Florida by 2020. The initiative was accepted without any problems with 69% of voters.


The Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS) was incorporated into the law on December 20 under the Farm Bill to “Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by acts caused to protect from violence or threat of violence against their pets. “

The PAWS Act will extend the existing federal protection for victims of domestic violence to their pets and set up a federal grant program to help victims find safe protection for their animals. The law will also amend the definition of stalking to include “conduct that causes a person to have a reasonable fear of death or serious injury to their pet”.

“Domestic violence victims shouldn’t have to choose between their safety and that of their beloved pets. Unfortunately, this is the intolerable decision many of them face as only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters in the nation accept pets, ”said Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of HSUS, an advocate for the legislation. “By extending federal domestic violence protection to pets and providing funding to support domestic violence shelter, we can support and empower victims and survivors before it is too late.”

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