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The Humane Society Legislative Fund Releases California State Humane Scorecard

Scorecard evaluates elected officials on work for animals for the 2011 state legislative session

SACRAMENTO (March 20, 2012) -- The Humane Society Legislative Fund is releasing its California State Humane Scorecard for the 2011 state legislative session. The scorecard provides a snapshot of California state lawmakers’ records on animal welfare policies. Lawmakers are scored based on their floor votes on bills addressing such issues as animal fighting, microchipping shelter dogs, the road-side sales of animals, vaccinations, shark finning, spaying and neutering, animal cruelty and licensing.

"The California State Humane Scorecard provides an easy way for constituents to assess how their lawmakers acted on animal protection issues, and it helps chart the progress of our public policy work on behalf of animals in the state," said Sara Amundson, executive director of The Humane Society Legislative Fund. "In 2011, California lawmakers passed bills to upgrade the state’s anti-cockfighting law and to prohibit the sale of shark of fins, providing a much-needed protection against a very cruel practice. The anti-cruelty laws of a state are a reflection of our basic values and attitudes toward animals, and this collection of bills is a measurable step forward for the state of California."

The Humane Society Legislative Fund tracked nine bills during the session: S.B. 425, which increases fines for cockfighting, creating parity with dogfighting; S.B. 426, which defines repeat animal fighting as a nuisance; S.B. 702, which requires released shelter animals to be microchipped; S.B. 917, which bans the road-side sale of animals and increases the penalties for animal neglect; A.B. 258, which creates an exemption for rabies vaccinations for compromised dogs; A.B. 376, which prohibits the sale shark fin; A.B. 564, which re-establishes the Municipal Shelter Spay-Neuter Fund; A.B. 1117, which limits ownership of animals by convicted criminals; and A.B. 1121, which addresses barriers to licensing and improves funding for animal care/control activities.

Seven of the nine bills including S.B. 425, S.B. 426, S.B. 917, A.B. 258, A.B. 376, A.B. 564, and A.B. 1117, were signed into law in 2011. With the passage of these laws, California is now ranked No. 1 on The Humane Society of the United States’ “Humane State Ranking” of animal protection laws, a title it also held for 2010.

Highlights from the 2011 California Humane Scorecard include:

  • Of the 119 members of the legislature scored, 44 received perfect 100 or 100+ percent scores--indicating a vote in support of animal protection for all nine scored bills, including 11 senators and 33 assemblymembers.
  • Five members received more than 100 percent, reflecting their support of animal protection in all nine bills, as well as primary leadership on at least one of the scored bills. These members are: Assemblyman Paul Fong,D-22, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani,D-17, Assemblyman Jared Huffman,D-06, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-05, and Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-38.
  • The average score for both senators and assemblymembers was 82.
  • No senator scored less than 44 percent and 15 assemblymembers scored a 56 percent or less.
  • The average passage rate was 88 percent, suggesting strong support for all nine bills.
  • There are 26 members of the legislative animal protection caucus.

Media contact: Katie Jarl, (301) 258-1483,


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 Twitter at